Friday, December 31, 2010

Straight Down Is An Angle

"Skyin'" is a collection of early Tyvek demos/practice tapes, recorded in late 2004, which I'm guessing had to be even before Tyvek had more than one show under their belts. This sold out from the label almost as fast as it was released earlier this year, but the band still had some with them when I saw them in March a week or so afterwards, so I was able to grab a copy. Other people have griped about the sound quality of this LP, which was part of the reason why I held off for a while before I listened to it, but once I did I found out that this really isn't that bad at all. Out of the slew of Tyvek demos/live collections that have been released within the past year or so, the "Demos" and "Live, Demos, Rehearsals, and Screwed" tapes on Fag Tapes are about the only two I've heard that have better material/better sound quality than this one. At the very least, being a vinyl pressing gives this a lot more weight than if it was just another cassette or CD-R.

I've owned some crappy vinyl pressings before-- like, almost everything that I bought from Blackbean & Placenta back in the '90s-- so whatever "fidelity issues" are present here aren't really enough to bother me, and eventually even become part of the charm. The first track, "This One or That One", tends to wobble in and out, but things are fine after that, although there seems to be a radio that's constantly playing in the background throughout the whole record. I actually think that's something that was already on the tape itself and just wasn't erased all the way because of a dirty tape head. Other than that, you might be surprised at how pulled-together Tyvek come across in their 2004 version; most of the ten songs here are already "classics", so to speak, and I think by now only "Through Night" (a ballad) and the Mekons cover haven't shown up on vinyl anywhere else. "Flashing Lights", which isn't listed on the back cover for some reason, is the same version that's on the X! Records "Shiftless Decay" compilation, which is a really great compilation by the way-- if you've been holding off buying it because you only recognized some of the bands on it and weren't sure if it was any good, just GET IT, it's killer all of the way through. "Future Junk" as it appears here is obviously a work in progress, as it doesn't have the whole "every day north on 10, every day south on 10" thing, but "Duck Blinds" has some extra zip to it which sorta makes up for the lousy version found on that crappy Sub Pop single.

The hand-assembled jackets are supposed to feature wrap-around artwork stuck onto recycled sleeves (like old Bee Gees albums or whatever), but mine's one of the few that came in a blank white jacket instead, so I guess I missed out on being able to keep a Tyvek record inside a chunk of smelly moldy cardboard leftover from the '70s or whatever.

Tyvek -

"Where Were You?"

"Mary Ellen Claims"

"24 Hours in a Duck Blind (Duck Blinds)"

"Give It Up"

"Through Night"

Here's a .zip file with all ten tracks, which I'll leave up for about a month or so:

Tyvek - Skyin'.zip

1 comment:

Brushback said...

The mp3 files are now inactive