...faux fiction is that album blasting from behind the closed door of your older cousin's room in the city on the day you visit from the sticks. his room is 100 percent off limits, but even hearing the music through the walls is exciting. you can't wait to get your hands on a copy of your own. turn it up loud in the car with the windows down. cruising along with the bold rhythmic and sonic brushstrokes resonating through each song.
...metaphorically speaking, estocar's fifth studio album, picks up the groove right from the start as the snare drum kicks in followed quickly by electric guitar. the energy is quick and rolls out into a galloping groove in the first few measures. this first cut 'painted black enamel' is fitting as it is reminiscent of the garage rock roots estocar has explored in the past while also giving a glimpse of how the tones and structures will be expanded. the lyrics 'observations from the beautiful mess you just so happen to be in...painted black enamel' gives the sense of the difficulties life can bring, but even if it is a mess and black, well it still shines like enamel over that. from there comes the funk as 'static fever' launches like a space craft out of a sci fi flick. lanceH and charlotteO tangle their vocals through this groovey little indie rock number mixed with funky keyboard and splashing cymbal crashes. the album is off and racing through fireflies, twilight, burning cities, flames, and screen doors. the songs have a jovial feeling that comes across as the band really enjoying making music together. the step is light and you can imagine them grooving while capturing their musical conversation. throughout the arrangement is sparse but creative deploying subtle nuances without relying on studio tricks. these songs bring you to the dance floor in a sweaty small club in a crowd full of people having fun bobbing up and down. 'beverly glen' is another song worth noting as every sound seems to be a part of the rhythm. rushing forward like a wave as it crashes to shore and gives us a slight pause...before the drums arrive to rachet it back up with 'n.m.'s eulogy' a snappy little number with punk auctioneer and doo wop vocals summing up the peculiar nature of patriotism and self. metaphorically speaking manages to crest again with the sweeping simple folk song 'word sure' climbing and climbing in the smoldering groove. bam the 70's disco groove is ratcheted up to break neck speed and the band races toward the finish then a slammed door, and you know estocar has put a line in the sand and then promptly stepped over it looking toward the future...'throwin' eyeballs, throwin' eyeballs, throwin' eyyyyyye baaalllls!
...tugging at the abstract notions worn on the everyman's sleeve. giraffe riot bolts thru the angles of shifty brain rock...careeming off obstacle to obstacle. a stampede of songs yelling out the observations of forward motion. a circus barker delivering a garage rock band through the acrobatic show. 'soupcan telephone operator' is a fine example of the nerve this album tries to strike...voice after voice played out before the words even begin to form. sound tracks of places where the microphone tuned in. found sounds breaking into the clever atmosphere of a twisted folk tune. a clawing crescendo of questions posed in the way of answers. 'wobbly arrow' steps in with a scattered groove that steers itself by the skin of it's teeth all the way to the finish line...perfect sounds teetering in and out...a pulsing indie rock dance number. it leads further into an album that continues to escalate the vibe...'mr.e' shreads, 'wittle' dives on, and 'truss' uses all the twists and turns to clamber it to the brink. the sounds continue to please as 'nacimiento' is a replenishing truck stop off the highway, a place to put chains on in order to drive thru the pass. on the other side giraffe riot continues to roll on until it explores every nook and cranny along the parade route...the final destination is reached in 'circle the wagons' revisiting the daylight, bringing back to a head..the other end of the ribbon. an oragami bow tie start to finish.
...in late October of 2003, five inches of rain fell in such a short time span in seattle, that lance found his new album's basic guitar and drum tracks in serious danger of become a part of the flotsam jetsam of a quickly flooding basement. a bucket brigade was formed though, and with science tips picked up from zoom, the water was held at bay...the salvaged tunes were brought up to the main floor to be finished in dryer confines, but in the light of day it was evident that these were songs meant for a band sweating them out in one room live, not how the past albums had been built around a sole guitar...estocar's first release as a garage rock trio would hit the pavement two years later...some of those original songs rescued from the oncoming waters in the basement of the nougat house would survive...songs like 'invisible mayan', a full throttle indie folk punk anthem, 'blue heron', a bipolar art rock number, and 'capable+1', hippie metal groove rock at it's finest...those songs and other songs on garage philosophy capture the true spirit of a solid rock trio unleashing a racous sound that could only be realized within the confines of their own rehearsal space. self recorded and self released this album delivers the essence and urgency of a band completely at ease with it's underground stature...a raw intimate look into estocar's earlier psyche.
...pawn e5, king's knight c6, pawn a6...from the opening lyrics of the poet's blindspot, one can tell that this will be an album with intentions of seeing a game thru. an album truly taking form in the studio...from layered vocals, door slams, kitchen knifes tapping on linoleum, popcorn being poured into glass bowls, beer cans being crushed, sounds amped and reamped, drum tracks made from found objects, and even horn players brought in to add that true experimental texture that these four songs would coagulate into. strange birds meant to clear the palate, act as a sorbet for the upcoming entree. one where all the stops are pulled out. like a kid who just learned how to play with matches and has found a stash of them...each song strikes another and another until every match in the box is ignited and used as fuel to the fire for these intuitive soundscapes. this ep stretches out estocar's feathers, goes overboard and climbs ashore in order that no stone is left unturned...
...as estocar's first release eludes to in it's title, there are plenty of moments of idling buses, rumbling semi-trucks, revving motorcyles, passing cars, ambulance sirens, and even the voices of a steady stream of pedestrians wafting into the small crowded room above street level where it was recorded...an array of folk songs given a psychedelic white washing, peppered with the happy accidents that create an album when the recording process becomes an instrument as well...'six degrees from seventh heaven' the opening track is a loping mellow folk number brought in by drum rolls as it gathers steam like a tumble weed in open field...'render' adds a more sinister side as the album twists and turns thru layered guitars and keyboards. traffic noises from north street in chicago poke their head thru now and then as the album grows more rock oriented and full blown as wah wah guitars join the ruckus and drums add more drive. traffic noise continues to go down as many streets, avenues, nooks and crannies as a long commute...stretching out toward a foreboding blues folk number, 'atmospheric kettle', that explains the pit falls of finding oneself in hot water that continues to get hotter and hotter...traffic noise is a glimpse of the folk tunes in lance's head beginning to grow into numbers that will require a full fledged band...in the mean time it explores the freedom that can be found in the studio as sounds are piled up and around sturdy songs laid down on acoustic guitar.