Tomato A Day
"Nothing Special" CDR
Eyesore / Tip Top
Genres: lo-fi, diy folk-pop
Bryan Day / PE
3803 S 25th St.
Omaha, NE 68107
Jan 6 - 12 2003
Special. Ha. What a thing to say about a release like this. When
if comes to lo-fi hometaper albums, you kind of expect something
special. That has been the case for ages now - Smog's Sewn
To The Sky and Guided By Voices' early albums are good
examples - and anything less than excellent just tends to go ignored.
Then it's hard to tell whether Nothing Special lives up to
its title or not. To put it bluntly, the band have put this album
together so that it sounds shitty. The recording quality is awful -
it's below bootleg. And the music, well, isn't exactly excellent. It's
pretty catchy, and has those neat, purposely off-tune vocals - and the
band play their instruments well, too - but, chances are, their diy
folk-pop sound won't appeal to every kid on the block.
As for the individual songs, a few stick out. The most appealing
tune, melody-wise, is "I Know You're There, But You're Not
There." It's funny then, that the piece is also the most poorly
recorded; the tape hisses like an annoyed snake, and the recording
distortion is so immense it sounds as if it's a caricature of itself.
Another keeper is "Crusing Through The Astral World," a
warm, personal tune with a bit of a spacey feeling to it. Also nice is
"Dissipate," a melodic little number that calls to mind some
of Cincinnati's Ionik/Datawaslost roster.
Well, this album will likely only appeal to diehard lo-fi fans in
search of the next Bill Callahan, which is a shame, because
there are many good ideas to be found here. While I must be coming off
as one of those anal idiots who just assumes that anything not
recorded in hyper-gloss isn't worth my time, I assure you, this is not
so. While I dig the whole lo-fi scene, I can't shake the fact that
this album could have been so much more if it was cleaned up a bit. A
Tomato A Day sound like they have some great ideas to share, but
only a few of them can seep through the album's recording quality. Buy
this if you like lo-fi stuff; if not, wait until the band buys a
11 songs, distributed by the
label, released 2002]