steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Edward Gray

"Put the Clock Back on the Wall" cassette


Genres: lo-fi, experimental, folk

PO Box 3462
Omaha NE 3462

Jan 19 - 25 2004

Ah, the joy of cassettes.  In this disgustingly digital world, the coldness of CDs and DVDs looms over us, reminding us of the disgusting direction we're heading in - but there are still a noble few tape releases that come out each year and remind us how much warmer music used to be.  Like vinyl and 8-track before it, cassettes are beaming in personality.  And though you can't switch tracks automatically, and you have to make sure you put it in the right way and everything, I just can't help but enjoy a cassette like this - it's so pleasantly eclectic and innovative.

On to the music.  Edward Gray plays very experimental lo-fi pop that is somewhat similar to early Microphones and co. recordings.  Acoustic guitar and vocals are pretty much the only instruments involved, but Put the Clock never suffers from a lack of things going on; Gray's creepy, dark compositions are extremely engaging and surprisingly infectious.  Be warned, however - his musical style is extensively avant-garde and different from most, so many of the inexperienced, fickle ears out there may not get what is happening.

With that said, though, this tape is one of the best cassettes to ever fall into my hands.  As a fan of 'outsider' music, I can't help but love this music - as should anyone with open-minded ears.  Each song is a gem, even those that aren't as obviously infectious as some.  The lyrics are bizarre (eating babies, anyone?), the recording quality is abysmal, and the songs are immeasurably bizarre - but all that's part of the exquisite master plan.  Put the Clock Back on the Wall should be in everyone's music collection.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 15 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]