Thursday, June 11, 2009

They Placed a Phone Call Right in My Brain

I'll start by admitting this: I'd never heard of The Intelligence prior to the past year's tidal wave of press regarding every facet of the American lo-fi/garage scene. In fact, it was only after slowly falling in love with their new album Fake Surfers that I bothered to even google their name. (Irresponsible, I know. To be honest, I picked up the album solely on the merits of its rad GBV-style cover art!)

Since then I've learned that the Intelligence have, in fact, been around for a decade and recorded and released four albums, plus at least a dozen other vinyl releases of various inchitudes. So much for getting in on the ground floor. Still, at a time when more people are paying attention to Bands on In the Red than perhaps ever before, Fake Surfers serves as a fine introduction to the band.

The album starts off with a weird, hypnotic title track that on first listen had me expecting some kinda nifty psych-drone workout, and in some ways it sort of is, but the second the choppy echoed-out guitars hit on "Moody Tower," Fake Surfers veered in a spooky, reverbed-out quasi-pop direction and stayed the course for the duration, at times bringing to mind Unrest, Faust's IV, and especially Georgia's legendary Rock*A*Teens!

It's the third track I'll share with you, though, a song that, after a twenty-second spin in the reverb tank, drops into a groove that might be called (in the parlance of our times) "surf goth" if only it didn't sound so timeless, and songer/mastermind Lars Finberg compliments the arrangement nicely with oddball lyrics describing a man's woes at the hands of a psychic debt collector. (I also love the Casio drumroll going into the second verse! You can't miss it!)

[mp3] The Intelligence - "Debt & ESP" (buy it from In the Red Records)

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