Happy New Year! As I’ve had a good time over the festive period I thought I’d pick a great LP for my first review of 2013. Full House Head by Endless Boogie from July 2010. Now I have long held that not nearly enough people know about this LP, it wasn’t even reviewed in a lot of the music mags which I think is scandalous and so I am asking you, my legion of devoted followers, to go out and a)listen to this beauty and b) spread the word – carve its name on your school desks, spray paint it onto the side of your house and have it tattooed immediately on your right rear cheek*. Do it.
The best track here by far is the opener ‘Empty Eye’, 9:39 of sheer desert perfection**. It sounds effortless, spacious and deeply groovy right from the first second onwards. When I first heard it I was immediately put in mind of ZZ Top of course but also Tinariwen and Malian music, it just has that deep sense of space. This is music made for a big sky, music made to be played driving alone at night. The song is secondary to the groove and I mean that as a compliment, not a slight. The guitars just throb along to the beat, marking time and then veering off to solo melodically every three or four minutes, or so. It is a track constructed on an epic scale and, good as the rest of the LP is, its a difficult one to get past I find myself playing and replaying it constantly. I have also found its a great track to run to. True story.
Next track is a mere 10:50, ‘Slow Creep’. Which starts off slow and, umm, slowly creeps into being a marginally louder track with lyrics which seem to be about someone complaining about stuff. I know you only read this blog for my penetratingly erudite observations like this ! ‘Mighty Fine Pie’ and ‘Tarmac City’ are next up and they remind me slightly of Aussie scary folk, Rose Tattoo; real unapologetic blue-collar kick-ass slide-guitar boogie. I can’t quite make up my mind whether the former track is built around one big, rude metaphor, or whether I’ve just been working too hard recently.
On ‘Pack your bags’, a bit of a tiddler at 8:37, the singer is clearly getting angry about something with someone in the background but this track is just packed to the brim with fantastic guitar playing and some amazing soloing late on too, while last decent track, ‘New Pair of Shoes’ is an arty off-key boogie. I say ‘last decent track’ as the fourth side of the LP is taken up with a lengthy jam which just leaves me totally cold. I think this just goes to show the perils with lengthy free-form music, when you hit it right it’s devastatingly good, mind-blowing even, but get your cues a bit wrong, drop a centilitre of inspiration and it just turns out self-indulgent waffle. It’s a fine, fine line my friend and that Endless Boogie only lose it the once is to their credit.
At the risk of being repetitive the guitar playing all the way through this LP is immense and there are enough sly, arty nods tucked away here and there – bits of Zappa, Television, Krautrock and the likes of Ben Chasney, to keep it all interesting. I know this lot are from New York but nothing else about them – does anyone else out there? I’d be interested.
If you only buy one LP I recommend all year, make it this one, you won’t regret it even if your new tattoo takes some explaining to your loved ones.
* the left one already having a 1537 tattoo, naturally.
** not to be confused with tiramisu, dessert perfection.
(some minor bits adopted/adapted from my Amazon review of the LP)