Back from vacation, and back to listening to music. (I expect I will return to the old ballgames sometime over the winter.)
And what are we ringing out the summer with? Oh, we’ve got a winner this time.
A few months ago I got put onto Out of Print Moncton, a Bandcamp site that collects music issued in the ’90s by little-known local bands in the Moncton, New Brunswick, area.
Most of the releases were cassette-only. And if I didn’t know better, I’d think some local scenester had simply emptied out an old box of tapes, digitized the tunes and slapped ‘em up as free Bandcamp downloads to prevent them from disappearing forever.
(The music, while sludgy at point of origin, sounds too crisp to be coming off well-worn old cassettes. Perhaps the person behind the website is the local sound guy who mixed all the stuff and still has master tapes lying around. I don’t know.)
Most of the music appears to be punk, which is not a genre I much go in for. I understand the release of energy and all that … but really, 99 percent of all punk bands sound the same to me.
If you like the punk stuff on Out of Print Moncton, there’s probably a band playing in your town tonight that sounds like that. Go see ‘em and buy their tape.
But amid all the punkstuff is a winner. Two winners, actually, a cassette and a CD release, performed by a bunch of grunge-metal knuckle-scrapers who called themselves Mood Cadillac.
Mood Cadillac, apparently, was one of those bands whose members have been in 40 other groups … some of which loom larger in local history than Mood Cadillac ever did. There’s probably some Monctonian reading this thinking, “Why is he writing about Mood Cadillac, and not about (fill in name of longer-lasting/better-known band)?”
One listen to Mood Cadillac’s monomaniacal sub-Sabbath slobber, and you too will understand.
We’re talking stringy-haired guys in a basement on the salt-kissed edge of nowhere, playing the simplest possible riffs with the maximum possible fuzz, total commitment, minimal audio fidelity and no subtlety at all.
(Mood Cadillac’s music reminds me that it has been far too long since I listened to Vincebus Eruptum, if that further clues you in.)
Guitarists Jody Perry and Russ Payne have joined the likes of Leigh Stephens, Mick Ronson and Red Album-era Mark Farner in my personal pantheon of sleazy-does-it guitar heroes.
Lead singer Gunther is kind of overmatched by all the fuzz, and doesn’t have a metal-god voice to begin with, but does his best to keep up. I’ve come to kinda like him — much more than I like Ozzy Osbourne, another frontman with a regular-joe set of pipes.
Mood Cadillac’s two releases — 1997’s Big Ol’ Dirty (released the day it was recorded, according to Bandcamp) and 1998’s Mood Cadillac — fit comfortably onto a single CD. In my burner, anyway, they combine at precisely 69 minutes in length.
Anyway, here’s a sample from the second album, in which our heroes stumble in and out of 7/4 time without knocking over their beers.
If you like it, go to Out of Print Moncton and snag your own copy. And keep the riffs alive.