Exploded Views (02.09, Squareroot)
Byline: Marriage between guitars and drum machines. Legalize it!
For: The Sea and Cake, NEU!, Kode 9
Somewhere, in an abandoned laboratory or military establishment, a drum machine is spitting out fractured beats in code. Somewhere in Michigan is a kid playing jagged post-punk riffs and fuzzed out guitar drones while softly singing into a 4-track recording machine. These two meet up and... An unlikely romance a la Harold and Maude? The romantic comedy hit of the summer? Or a new record by Conifer Rock? Conifer Rock A.K.A Trevor Edmunds (why can't his name really be Conifer Rock?) is the sum of several different parts, that in theory sound irreconcilable, but in practice sound completely natural. Guitars in Exploded Views take a prominent role, from the staccato, Bow-Wow-Wow influenced, start-stop strumming in "Young Professionals" to the Can inspired freak out of the opener "Sure Fire". The album's closing track, "Rocket Pops", has a guitar drone that does it for me every time. It sounds like Wylde Wyzards backing Kevin Drew, a magical last song that I find myself coming back to over and over. The percussion ranges from the metronomical, Motorik percussion of electronic pioneers NEU! and Kraftwerk to the cut-up patchwork of todays dubstep. Edmunds breathy voice recalls Chicago's own Sam Prekop, who like Edmunds has a voice that is once instantly recognizable but never demands center stage. Pile on a generous amount of Shoegazey effects pedals and heavy synths and you have a marriage made in heaven. Exploded Views is confidently steered in the hands of Conifer Rock as he switches his style up from one track to the next, and if they hate then let 'em hate and let the praises from music blogs pile up.