Mr. GerryManders / The Drapes - Split-10"

6 songs

***** ***
Hound Dog

Half a car hour from where I live, an obscure record label is planning the revival of dirty garage rock. Not in the modern kind of way by releasing CDs, but by having scheduled for the beginning a series of three split-10" vinyls that are supposed to convert us to the primitive charm of relentlessly wild rock'n'roll music.

Hound Dog Records from Rombas, which lies somewhere between Metz and Luxembourg, start with this collaboration between Mr. GerryManders and The Drapes, two bands that have already played at places we all have been to (Pipeline Skate Park, Nomansland,...), but still we always have missed them.

When rock'n'roll and surf sound in Luxembourg can be limited to Sloggy and Surf Me Up Scotty, Metz seems to have a whole bagful of retro rock bands. The A-Side goes to Mr. Gerrymanders, an unchained four-piece that sounds like beatnik-bashing anti-intellectuals from the late Fifties that happen to have heard of the Ramones. It's mostly rock'n'roll, pure and simple, with no real production values to add unnecessary sheen. Their songs are short and to the point, with 424 being an instrumental piece. The Drapes don't sound that different, except that their vocals have more of a comic effect. Not that their music is funny, but they underlay their unbridled rock'n'roll sound with a ghoulish quality.

Mr. GerryManders and The Drapes are two bands that never try to innovate. They are much too based on their roots to try such blasphemy. The charming quality of this twenty minute long 10" comes from the fact how perfectly they combine the acoustic primitivism with the macho charisma of a long gone by rock'n'roll era. Sure enough the MP3-CD-player in my car won't accept anything as big as this vinyl, but once you dig out somewhere a good old record played (with a needle, not a laser), you will be mesmerised by the strange and dirty beauty of this short and small album.

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