Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Mad Scene - Falling Over, Spilling Over EP

The Mad Scene – Falling Over, Spilling Over EP
Homestead, 1992
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2008
Price: $1
Odds are, if a band’s album’s cover art looks like it might be associated with Flying Nun Records, the band is probably affiliated with Flying Nun Records. Not only did the Mad Scene release their debut album A Trip Through Monsterland on Flying Nun, but founding member Hamish Kilgour is the same Hamish Kilgour from the Clean, which excites me to no end. I don’t know what it is about this album’s crude pastel image of a table spilling over a bunch of shit, but there’s something about the alluring amateurishness that matches the bands you typically found on Flying Nun. People who weren’t career musicians who made some of the most blissful alt-pop you’ve ever heard. I was just talking about Flying Nun with Jenny yesterday, as she just fell in love with Lorde and of course I had to get on my “You know what else is from New Zealand and paved the way for all kiwi pop?” soapbox which she has probably tuned out a hundred times. Oh, to live in New Zealand in the early 90s. Beautiful scenery, excellent weather, and a government that funds the countries arts and music scene.

Despite the New Zealand roots, the Mad Scene was based in NYC. In addition to Flying Nun, the band was signed by a veritable who’s who of fantastic indie rock labels throughout their career (Homestead, Merge, Siltbreeze). While the sparse, post-punk forward title track is a bit sloggish, the two tracks on this 7”s double A side are as joyful and pleasant as the album’s cerulean vinyl. The guitars on “People to Talk to” chime and jangle in that way that only guitars from Oceania seem to chime and jangle. There’s a post-punk backbone to that track, but the delicious sunny riff shines over everything. Vocal duties on the more indie-pop driven “Paper Plane” are handled by Kilgour’s foil Lisa Siegel, who delivers the vocals in way not dissimilar to Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley (who, by the by, has been part of the band’s revolving door lineup throughout the years). Wonderful stuff. Now excuse me while I try to track down their full-lengths.

Here's "Choose" from their Merge-released sophomore LP Sealight.
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