Presents: Exclusively Talentmaker!
Adverb attack! Optiganally Yours combines the optigan talents of Pea Hix with the vocal and guitar talents of Rob Crow. An Optigan is a legacy of musically-inclined ’70s living rooms, a sort of analog sampler that utilized interchangeable discs for producing rhythms and sounds. It’s a fascinating instrument, with an equally interesting history; you can read more about it at http://www.optigan.com/. Rob Crow comes from Pinback, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable and many other San Diego projects, and he brings with him the quirky melodic sensibility and tendency to build complex harmonies around oddball chord changes. The mix of the elements results in something clearly beyond the novelty album you may expect.
But there’s a twist. This particular album is 100% Optigan-free, opting instead for the sounds of the Chilton Talentmaker, a similarly-engineered artifact. Not that it makes that much of a difference — Optiganally Yours’ sound remains a buzarre mixture of stunningly lo-fi loops and stunningly hi-brow loopiness. “Gepetto” lives inside the whale, in what sounds like a tropical setting, and all he wants to do is cha cha all day. The virtues of discounted gas station pastry are yelled out in “Donut,” and you must beware of the “Poodleman,” who sneaks in the night and gives you a mullet haircut.
Optiganally Yours pushes the envelope, turning what would most likely be a novelty sound in the hands of less-talented bands and coming up with fifteen chunks of pop goodness.
Absolutely Kosher Records, 417 Fredrick St., San Francisco, CA 94117; http://www.sirius.com/~fatkid