Monday, September 21, 2009

Microfiches - The Works Of Bankruptcy

Hear The Track Here

Another review now coming though my review blog. Microfiches are a alternative garage band from India, and I have to admit that comes as no surprise to me. Over the years I have been reviewing I have noticed that the Indian sub-continent (and indeed all points East from there) is an absolute hotbed of garage bands, some good, some average and some so bad you wouldn't want to give it ear room. Takes all kinds, right? Now I can take any amount of ambient noise provided that the underlying song and/or musical principles has some merit, and yes, even garage rock does have its moments. The Works of Bankruptcy is an eight track CD, well almost because the first track The Moment is literally that; forty five seconds of backwards guitar..

It's the second track, Drugged Nerves, that gives you a much better mouthful of what Microfiches are about - and it's a given that the term lo-fi could definitely be applied here. Again I have no problem with that provided that the material is worth hearing and this track - with its very spacey feel - does the trick. The lo-fi approach damages the vocal most, and that's a shame but the sub-punk method of delivering it covers it nicely. Loose Ends is much more what I would have expected from this band given their garage band image. Spare, awkward guitar lines by the dozen, and a doomy feel doesn't really elevate this track from being a so-so instrumental. Neither, for that matter, does Floor, the next track up - even if it does feature some nice off the wall percussive touches.

Keep The Change introduces a more electronic feel to things, and one that - momentarily - caused me to flash onto a band I first saw back when they were an unknown outfit from Detroit; the MC5. I saw them a few times back in the day and loved their archaic, sloppy but very effective rock, and Keep The Change is a weird offshoot of Kick Out The Jams. As such, its probably my favourite track. Japanese Schoolgirls is also an instrumental and again, the differences in sound levels and the meandering style of this piece won't - I fear - win it many listeners. Dressed Up Psycho is another very electronic piece, and sounds very, very different to all the other tracks on the CD. That doesn't stop the problems with the vocals however which are both washed out in echo and drowned in the mix. The one minute plus of Daydream On is - I suspect - also responsible for the backwards guitar on the opening track and is literally just a poorly mic'd acoustic guitar banging out the riff. For me, I suspect that the band will need to up the game considerably both materially and sonically to stand a chance against the fearsome competition out there.

Home made garage band stylee. Check if you like the genre.

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