A luddite, I only recently – and reluctantly – bought my first iPod after getting the chance to cautiously fool around with one a generous dame loaned me for a few days. Thing’s pretty neat, I must admit, and I’ve been listening to a lot more music thanks to its convenience. Unfortunately, I’m just playing the same old stuff on endless repeat: My Bloody Valentine, Wipers, Flipper, Galaxie 500, and (while charging through Times Square each morning) Pussy Galore. I tend to get into musical ruts, and this doggone iPod is helping me dig ever deeper with greater speed. But at least I’m diggin’ in the most technologically with-it fashion available!
The early Slumberland Records roster, with its noisy Americanized tweegaze, has long fit nicely into that sweet rut o’ mine. Really, almost anything the label released through the mid-’90s will satisfy fuzzheads and rockin’ lo-budget MBV popjunkies alike. Crazy reliable, its records are some of the safest buys out there, so I felt mighty OK about picking up this Earthmen single based solely on the presence of the Slumberland logo. And LO! For once I found myself nonplussed. While it’s definitely not bad, it, like late Drop Nineteens, betrays a few too many hints of the mainstream alt-explosion in its clear vocals and clean power-guitar to make me comfortable. “Momentum” does burst into an extended, distorted frenzy that stamps it as a keeper, but even that song isn’t so very nifty that I can imagine ever wanting to find out more about the Earthmen. So stay in Australia, you crazy band that I know almost nothing about! I’m perfectly happy with my Black Tambourine and my Lilys. And will be.