Sunday, January 29, 2017

Vinyl Review: "Freedays" by Tall Tall Trees

From the moment permanent settlements were established, in what Europeans called, The New World, we have been able to adapt and adjust to new surroundings, new challenges, and over the centuries, we as Americans have grown and prospered.

We're not going to discuss Roanoke or Croatoan OK? Because really, we all know that our forebears, well the people who would've been our forebears anyway, were kidnapped by the most ancient race of spacefaring villains...

The Romulans.

Yes, that's right, the Romulan Star Empire came to the Virginia Colony and kidnapped an entire settlement a full 500 years before what we will later know as First Contact.

Well...moving on.

Tall Tall Trees
Just as a species, we've been able to take musical instruments and warp them into playing other types of music they were never intended to play.

Were you aware that the Violin was originally an Italian tavern instrument or that the guitar was a rhythm instrument or that the Uni-vibe guitar effect that Jimi Hendrix used to such great effect was an attempt to recreate a Leslie Organ speaker which was used to re-create the sound of a pipe organ?

There have been a great number of musicians over the years who've been able to take the instrument that they are proficient in and use it to play another style of music or to make it different.

James Leg has taken the electric piano and turned it into a piano/guitar/bass hybrid to a wondrous result.

What about the oft-insulted banjo?

Tall Tall Trees's only member, Mike Savino is a banjo savant who wants to play more than just Blue Grass or Country Music.

So with the use of effects and a willful pride that's fairly uncommon, he's taken the banjo and made a modern rock album that sounds like no other.

The eclectic nature of the album melds beautifully with the very long beard Savino sports. It's not really clear how, but it seems to work. Let's go with it. This is music for bearded gentlemen and for those who admire bearded gentlemen.

Sweet colored vinyl.
Savino, whose day job is the banjo player in Kishi Bashi, has turned in a side project that doesn't feel like a side project.

These songs are crafted.

The other bands can often feel incomplete or too heavily focused on a part of the sound, but Freedays never sounds like anything other than a labor of love.

To be honest, I'm still not sure what this record is, but I love it.

Joyful Noise is a record label that reminds me a lot of one of my favorites...where I also buy large quantities (for me) of vinyl...Alive Natural Sound.

They are both smaller labels that don't have the giant packaging of some of their larger competitors, but what they both have is a stable of very amazing artists that consistently put out lots of great music.

The difference between them is that Joyful Noise....well in terms of genre or anything like that...they have absolutely no identity.

This is the label that put out Goblin Cock, Lou Barlow, and Mike Adams At His Honest Weight. So in that cadre we have thrashed out sludge metal, Hawaiian hippy uke music, and emo, shoegazer rock.

Joyful Noise puts out whatever they want and it's often great. Their albums are always high quality and sound great, and Freedays is no exception to that. Joyful Noise puts their money in the grooves, not the paper in your hand.

Release: 2/17/17
Genre: Bearded Gentlemen Rock
Label: Joyful Noise
Formats: LP/CD/Digital
Preorder Link

In order to give some more context...enjoy this mini-documentary.

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