Daryl Waits, The Rustler

Daryl Waits, The Rustler

I’m fairly certain that Waits recorded this album, The Rustler, on his 4-track in his apartment. Therefore, you’ve gotta know up front that the production quality on this CD isn’t that great. Regardless, I can’t stop listening to this album — I wasn’t a fan before listening to this CD, but I am now.

The album actually came out in 2004 and has probably been lying around the SCR office for a little while now, gathering some dust [Ed. Note: We didn’t receive it ’til 2005, we swear…]. That’s a shame, because this is inventive stuff. Waits actually has a more recent album out now, called Eurocamp, and also plays in a number of other bands on the Paradeco label (which he runs), most notably Moron Parade.

The quick-and-dirty on this album is that the sound brings to mind a sort of lo-fi cross between the Velvet Underground and early Modest Mouse, with a focus on pop. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Throw a Drive Like Jehu comparison in there for good measure. At any rate, it’s basically just Daryl on vocals and guitars and his friend Adam King on drums. There are a few really kickass tracks on here, notably “Bingo,” “Neu,” “Hulk Hands,” “Punk’d,” and “Optimum.” I guess I should point out here that there are 19 songs on this disc and that the average length of the songs is 1.5 minutes. It does make for odd song structures, but that brevity really helps move the album along.

With each track, Waits builds a sort of dissonant wall of guitar and punctuates the noise with alternating spoken-word delivered vocals and a shouted pop warble. Each song is a surprise in the various hooks he’ll use to pull you in, throw you off, and then have you shout along. It’s a lot of disorienting fun, and I’m really liking it, with “Bingo” being the best example of all this. I had the following line from that song stuck in my head for weeks: “My new number is 57113 / An evil cavity of dangerous reprieve.” Nonsensical? Yes. Exciting? You betcha. Check it out, brother.

(Paradeco Records -- 219 Queen Anne Ave. N, #306, Seattle, WA. 98109; http://www.paradeco.com/; NONE)

Review by . Review posted Thursday, May 4th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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