One of my New Years resolutions is to review and profile more singles, 7", short EPs or whatever the artists and labels are terming them these days. I've come to believe that these recordings are a great way to hear what is new, what artists are trying. It also can be an economical way to try a lot of artists. Of course, not all artists release music that way, and certainly not all labels support such releases. But as an example of the delights of paying attention to shorter releases, I present Chicago's Bare Mutants, and their HoZak 7", which is out in February on HoZac Records.
This 7" is comprised of two tracks, "Inside My Head" and "Without You". The first track is an absolutely delicious slice of reverb-drenched rock. For a fan of The Jesus and Mary Chain/Crystal Stilts/Echo and the Bunnymen, such as myself, listening to it the first time was like Christmas day again. And I'll confess to playing it several times in succession before I even tried track two. Listen to the "Inside My Head" while I provide a bit more background on the band:
The Bare Mutants are a Chicago indie supergroup, or an indie super side-project (I don't really know which). The lineup includes Jered Gummere (The Ponys) on guitar and vocals, Seth Bohn (Mannequin Men), on bass, Pete Falknor (Derek Nelson & The Musicians, Planetsexploder) on drums, Leslie Deckard on organ, and Jeanine O'Toole (The 1900s) on vocals and percussion. I became captivated by this release before I knew Jered was involved, but I must confess that the Ponys' 2004 album, Laced With Romance, is a staple in my collection. But perhaps more germane to the general audience is his influence on the dominant sound of many recent Brooklyn bands, and on the late Jay Reatard.
Below is a video of a session the band did for Coach House Sounds five months ago. It contains both tracks off the 7", in reverse order, and three other songs.
Bare Mutants - 6.18.11 from Coach House Sounds on Vimeo.
I think this Bare Mutants HoZac 7" is proof that good things can come in small packages. Of course, now we want an LP. We are insatiable.