Sarandon – “Joe’s Record” 7”
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2009
Beautiful pink vinyl with no indication of which side is which on the label? F. FAIL! WHY WHY WHY DO BANDS DO THIS?! Pain in my ass. I digress. Slumberland is one of those labels I fawned over until I realize, of late, that they basically release the same, washed out sounding pop records on repeat. I love Black Tambourine, Swirlies, Honeybunch, and Velocity Girl, but newer bands like Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Literature, Veronica Falls, Brilliant Colors, Crystal Stilts, and Sarandon either sound like some other band or nothing at all. It’s probably not fair to criticize the label without having heard every single thing they’ve released in the last five years, but every time I bite at something based on my preconceived notions of Slumberland I always feel a bit let down (that new Joanna Gruesome record was pretty good, though, so maybe I just need to dig a little deeper). Maybe I’m just feeling cynical today and being harsh on a well meaning indie label for not living up to the glory of their early days. I’m scanning their complete discography looking for the last record of theirs I really loved that wasn’t a reissue of one of their heyday bands and it took me all the way back to 2003 with the Aislers Set’s How I Learned to Write Backwards. Basically, my impression is that they only release bands that are afraid to sound like something other than cool kids who bury their pop-tinged tracks in layers of fuzz and reverb and hazy production with hushed vocals and a vintage twee vibe. None of the music they release is bad…good god, who knew I cared so much about Slumberland’s discography not living up to my expectations. I’m surprised myself. And a little embarrassed, but I’m leaving it in. Honestly, I think I’m still mad that the Pains of Being Pure at Heart always sound so good upon first listen until I realize their music is totally empty. But it’s so pretty and it reminds me of so many other bands! Ack. Anyway, for Sarandon I played this record three times and I can’t remember for the life of me what it sounds like. I recall jaunty post-punk guitars and some incredibly thin production. I listened to it one more time and immediately forgot. If it were up to me, I would skip this forgettable stuff. That’s what I do when I review new albums. If I hate it, I don’t even give it the time, but for the integrity of this project, I listen to every last little record I own because I gotta understand why it is there. I don’t know why I’m worried about stepping on Slumberland’s toes. It’s not like they send me free records or anything. I think maybe it’s because I used to burn bridges as recent as like, three years ago, and since then I have tried to make a habit of not burning bridges. But writing for the Pitch required me to be very even handed and to avoid this at all costs so my inner snark and cynical trash talk crops up here from time to time. Maybe if Crayola Sarandon had bothered to put some actual text on his 7”s labels I wouldn’t be in this position!
Here's their track "Kill Twee Pop!" which has more verve and energy than any of the tracks on this 7".