Thing of the Day

JACK HAYTER, SUCKY TARTS, CUTTY SARK, more STREET ART, HOMELESS CARDBOARD, TERA MELOS, MIKE WATT, EARTHSHIP, beautiful alt.folk from London, agonised extreme metal from Berlin and…

January 31st 2011

Today’s Thing Of The Day really has to be Jack Hayter’s delightful new EP that’s released this very day… and today is a sunny day which makes his beautifully simple world-weary songs even more enjoyable…

Jack Hayter Sucky Tart coverJACK HAYTER – Sucky Tart (Audio Antihero) – Rather delightful four track EP from the man who’s spent creative times in bands such as Hefner, Dollboy, and, best of all, the rather unappreciated Spongefinger. 

This hand-written note here that came with the EP says “Hey Organ, given that you seemed to be the only publication on earth that liked Jack’s old band Spongefinger, I though you might like his new EP”.  Now I’m sure we weren’t the only ones to like Spongefinger, I’m pretty sure I recall positive coverage in the inky press back at the time? We’re talking early/mid 90’s though and bands in Camden sounding like Seasick Steve (way before anyone here knew who Seasick Steve was) and playing excellent handmade lo-fi Americana flavoured bluegrass-edged alt.folk weren’t as fashionable back then as they are these days. My head tells me there were some great Spongefinger gigs, with people like Rhatigan and such, in back rooms of Camden pubs, I’m sure old issues of Organ will confirm this, must dig out the album. There’s an old Organ quote on this press release that says of Spongefinger that “they’re like Dennis Hopper’s house band, you wouldn’t like to go down their road late at night by yourself…Spongefinger are probably the coolest way out left field lo-fi country band in the whole world” – ah, that was always our problem, too ahead if it all with our coverage, and if Spongefinger had been along five years later they’d maybe have been all over the media, – hang about, I was right, quote from the NME on the label’s website, borrowing our words a couple of  months after we’d put them out there, that seemed to happen quite a lot back there and well at least others were covering them a little -  enough of back then, this is now, the sun is out, let’s go borrow the Cutty Sark…

     2011 and Jack Hayter is sounding delightfully content and rather laid back, moving on gracefully? Accepting his lot? Taking another sip and sounding well: four rather strong songs, four refined pieces of quiet, folk flavoured pieces of warm gliding beauty. Press release here describes Jack as a “rotten-gutted, scorch-throated pedal steel player”; now, if he is scorch-throated, then beautifully so. These are simple songs, cleverly so, the title of the EP is a crafty anagram of part of the opening track I Stole The Cutty Sark, and yes I guess he is scorch-throated, the beauty of the song and the stealing of the Cutty Sark is just so right that you really don’t notice how raw and ‘rot-gutted’ that ‘perfect’ voice is. 

   This is wonderfully warm, rewarding folk music, quiet music, heart-felt songs, words, just a voice and simple less-is-more (so much more) instrumentation. You really can imagine him untying that big old sailing ship in Greenwich and sailing it down to her house through the park. These really are finely crafted songs, that gap between slightly alternative folk/country music and the dirty fuzz and anxiety of London, that and the ‘universal language of the drunkard’ - and do you think she’ll sleep with a man who’s got a tall ship? Is he content? Or just accepting his lot and writing beautiful songs about those pains and getting lovesick to the point of scurvy. Beautifully simple songs, beautiful words, tinged with dissonant woe and worldly knowing; he does sound weary, like he’s seen it all now, he’s sounding wonderfully just off key and look, this is just a glorious treat of a four track EP that might just be the man’s finest moments yet.  All four songs are special, each one could be the lead track, not sure about that artwork, but hey, can’t have everything. Go take a few quiet reflective beautiful moments and treat yourself to some fine music…

Sucky Tart is out today.
Links
www.audioantihero.com
www.jackhayter.com

And while we’re here, here are some more things for your day…

Homeless Street artMICHAEL AARON WILLIAMS and his homeless street art… To many of us the homeless populations of our cities remains semi-invisible. American street artist Michael Aaron Williams homeless street arthas been addressing what appears to be this lack of interest with a new series of works on cardboard. Work that Williams has been busy pasting up around London (as well as Paris and Rome) over the last few months:
           “…just like the actual homeless, the people on the street ignore the pieces and many times see no worth in them. However, Some people have and are encouraged to take these home where the pieces can survive”.
www.michaelaaronart.com

Tera MelosTERA MELOS download… There’s a healthy slice of Tera Melos to be had should you wish to have such a thing. This time collaborating with Mike Watt, he of Firehose, Minutemen and such. If you don’t know Tera Melos, then the band, from Sacramento California, play an other rock style that touches on jazz, ambient electronics and unconventional song structure while always being a little more than just another rock band and.. well, go explore what Tera Melos are doing via www.teramelosmusic.com - the track, that you may have heard on the Organ radio show last night,  is available as a free and legal download, from here.


EarthshipEARTHSHIP – Exit Eden (Pelagic) – Debut album from yet another agonised metal band who sound like they’ve got all the twisted weight of the world on their collective shoulders. These black-clouded riff monsters are from Berlin and once again there’s no hint musical revolution (or even revolution in terms of the confinement of extreme heavy metal) going on here. Densely intense metal with a churning groove and some hig riffs, regulation growing vocals, churning progressive metal, extremely heavy without ever quite touching on the realms of anything too blackly death metal flavoured. Intensely heavy, bombastic, full bodied, big riffs, a touch of groove and just a little something that catches the ear and gives Earthship a little tiny bit extra and makes them worth your ears a little more than most of the other extreme metal rule-obeying bands out there sticking the blueprints, the uniforms and yes, seems a band can stay within the boundaries and still be interesting enough to be worth an ear..

Exit Eden is out on Feb 28th –
www.myspace.com/wearetheearthship
www.myspace.com/pelagicrecords

And that will do for today, another thing tomorrow, all being well…  Got to go, sun is out, daffodils threatening… 


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