Monday, May 25, 2009

Henry's Dress - 1620

(Slumberland, 1993)

If there’s one band whose catalog needs to get back into print STAT, it’s probably Henry’s Dress (second place: Moose). The pedigree here is pretty impeccable, as the band later splintered into Aislers Set, Coachwhips, and Sic Alps, and dudes produced, no kidding, some of the best-ever American fuzzgaze in their brief time together. This debut release is a crunchy, bass-driven, guitar-screaming meeting of “You Made Me Realize” and Swirlies, a holy combo made all the holier by the fact that Henry’s Dress – unlike many other bands working roughly similar turf – has a rhythm section that actually matters. Even on the budget-Slowdive B-side (“Stumble”), there’s a prominent low-end in the chorus that gives the song its neck-snap power… a tuffer Black Tambourine gobbling codeine woulda sounded something like this. Later records would feature lady-vox and veer further into fucked-pop territory, but this first single remains a pounding, exciting introduction to what has, regrettably, become an obscure, expensive discography; if you can actually locate the records, they’re must-haves and must-hears – fug the cost.

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