Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Famines - The Complete Collected Singles (Mammoth Cave 2011)

Review by Mauricio Gudiño

When coming across any singles collection there are two deductions that one can immediately make and conclude to be true:

1. "These tracks must be the cat's meow!" and;

2. "If these tracks are so great, then I should run/click over to my nearest retailer and fork over some cash for more!"

While you can't really, 100%, say that this chain of assessments is wholeheartedly the most logical to spring to mind, they do fall in place somewhere along the timeline of exposure. And the truth is that "exposure", the secret magic word in this review, seems to be exactly what the Famine's release "The Complete Collected Singles" is attempting to attain. And with the raw energies and blasted out recordings of this noise rock twosome, the Famines will melt your face while in transition of blasting it as well as leave you curiously feening for more info on the group.

The Famines, one part edmonton; one part montreal, canada, are focused. Having toured Canada countless of times since 08' (four national, and multiple regional), released five 7" records, along with a distinctly executed graphic aesthetic (posters, visual art books, an educational pamphlet and a 268 page liner note book), this duo seem as if their plans are to strike with a specific brand of precision that only true observers of the the genre can obtain. While my opinion on the whole vintage-revival-retro movement would be cheapened to simply say that it's cop out, I don't think/feel I've come across a group that transcends the fashionable "cop-out'edness" of the movements that have taken nostalgia by the balls and crushed our dreams of anything significant happening in music until I've read into and really studied the charm of the Famines. They seem to channel a certain style that guides the energies that would brand them a part of the movements named above, but within the structures built by Raymond Biesinger (the seemingly mastermind behind the group) lies a contemporary mind that wants to start a conversation.

The first track on the collection's title, "Hi Hi Hi", immediately brings a picture of an hyperactive 6 year old with an enthusiastic greeting, which actually works great as a visage for how the rest of the albums energy plays out (listen to track "Princess Louise Caronline Alberta). Faux Famous, the second track, kicks off with a chugging baseline covered in rusted nickel grit that will leave you wanting to find out what old tube amp Biesinger searched down to get that sound. Then you have songs that display the seductive and still playful side of the groups vocal melodies ie: TWA Flight 553. Listen for yourself. The collection of songs work as a manifestation for listeners who did not follow the group's tracks from their first outwardly taken treads, noting that their first show came posthumously to first release, but work well to tempt you for more. For the sakes of Garret Kruger (drummer/percussion), Biesinger and all of us who are in need of something heartfelt, solely of this generation, but has intelligent design lets hope what comes after their call out for exposure (guhaaaggh!!!!! ::confetti burst::) leaves us as interested in them as their audio/visual attempts to have us pay attention.

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