Music Reviews
Wetheads Come Running

Single Frame Wetheads Come Running

(Already Gone) Buy it from Insound Rating - 8/10

If ever there was a record that just has to be heard to make any sense of it, this is it. The strangely named Single Frame (formerly Single Frame Ashtray) attempt just about everything and anything, and for the most part, pull it off quite nicely.

As much as I like this album, trying to place some handy reference points is near impossible. Take opener Floral Design in a Straight Line. The track begins with a sweet melody and then moves into a chug-chug guitar line. Indie Reference Chart says: Grandaddy. But then the vocal track comes in, and with the delayed guitar buzzing across the chorus, we move north into Sonic Youth territory, or on a 2003 road-map, everyone's favourite not-actually-that-good emo whiners, Pretty Girls Make Graves.

Following this schizophrenic catchy pop number, Single Frame get scared that their audience have relaxed, so follow it up with $7 Haircut which could be compared to Pavement, or LCD Soundsystem, or Q & Not U, get the idea. On Skintone the band even manage to emulate the German electro-pop of Lali Puna. The album continues like this across 20 tracks. Considering that the LP doesn't even hit forty minutes, you get some idea how fast these guys are making you think. Reversed samples, mid song acoustic ballads, and a beautiful closer, Let's Techno for Christmas that sounds like a very indie music box, all come into play. For the first few listens the variety can be a little disorientating, but soon enough it becomes apparent that not only is each song unique, most are also good, solid, alt-pop songs.

Despite the diversity, every track still retains some coherence. American lo-fi is the key phrase, and if you mind out of place distortion and occasionally off-key vocals, then Single Frame probably won't appeal. For anyone with even a passing interest in any of the bands mentioned above, though, there will be something on here for you. Just don't tell your friends, because explaining Single Frame is not recommended.