Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Takeovers: Turn To Red (2006)

I'm changing things up a bit. No longer am I following a chronological order of posts, but mixing it up from here on in. This way, I get to choose what release I post next a little more randomly. That being said, I am loving the Takeovers EP Little Green Onion Man, so I decided to do their first effort, Turn To Red. The Takeovers are a collaboration between Robert Pollard and Chris Slusarenko. There are some guest musicians thrown into the mix as well...

After an intro from Rich Turiel, the album explodes into one of its best tracks, Insane/Cool It. This is an automatic inclusion on the playlist with its pure rock vibe, and its chorus ("A nameless hate/A nameless hate/Time gushes pain on my days/And I can't get away") reminds me of classic Rolling Stones. It is followed by the sombre First Spill Is Free, a track who's lyrics are (to me) some of Pollard's most baffling ("I want just to raw/I want head is the word").

Mojo Police has a great pulsing beat verse, followed by a Circus Devils-ish chaotic section, and is one of the weirder tracks on the disc. I can't help but love Scuffle With Nature. From its cutesy melody, off lyrics ("By a stuttering f-f-f-f-f"/Healthy does of the T-Ruth crippling me"), and even the crackling recording noise, this one sticks with you. Even Rich's intro comes back and sounds a little more at home in this song. The following Sweet Jelly can be filed under "toss-off" (and while we're at it, so is Wig Stomper - see the Little Green Onion Man EP for a non-phone message recorded version).

Competing with Insane/Cool It for the cut of the album is Fairly Blacking Out, an all-out rocker with a great riff, complete with "programming" from Charlie Campbell. I'm not too sure what I think about The Public Dance, and instrumental moving into Circus Devils country which builds nicely throughout its three minutes. Be It Not For The Serpentine Rain Dodger sounds like it comes straight from mid/late 80's GBV, and would have fit in nicely on the first Suitcase box set.

Bullfighter's Cut sounds like a preview of what to expect on a later Pollard release, Standard Gargoyle Decisions, a bit of brooding with the rock. With its pulsing baseline, this is the type of track that sounds great during a late night drive. I am not a big fan of Pollard's vocals on Jancy, the albums final track. I think Bullfighter's Cut would have made a better closer...oh well.

The five tracks on this disc that make my playlist do stand out from those that do not...quite a bit. The Takeovers' first effort follows the proven formula of instant classics, thrown in half-finished ideas, total toss-offs, and decent tracks, all mixed together to form an album greater than the sum of its parts. And it also looks like The Takeovers are here to stay, as they already have another album (Bad Football), and the great EP Little Green Onion Man.

Tracklisting (songs in bold make the playlist):
01 Do You Get Your Wish?
02 Insane/Cool It
03 First Spill Is Free
04 Mojo Police
05 Scuffle With Nature
06 Sweet Jelly
07 Fairly Blacking Out
08 Wig Stomper
09 The Public Dance
10 Be It Not For The Serpentine Rain Dodger
11 Bullfighter's Cut
12 Jancy


Anonymous said...

Good to see you back! I love this little album a whole lot. I think it holds up as an album very well too, even with a range of sound qualities. It's a fun album, a good summery feel.

But how could you not include "Be it Not for the Serpentine Rain Dodger" on your list??? It's the best "updated/fleshed out years later" Bob song, ever. Huge drums!

Anonymous said...

bullfighter's cut is one of bob's all-time great songs

Anonymous said...

Always love reading your thoughts, though I agree that Rain Dodger is a monster song with monster drums... by far my fave cut on the album. One of the best Bob songs from the past few years.

jazman said...

Great move, RR...I'm glad to read about the Takeovers, and will be buying a couple shortly, so I can hear them for myself.

Anonymous said...

I really really love this album. Oddly, its patchiness is one of its greatest strengths. Great to get a dose of spontaneity and playfulness missing from the Tobias albums. I mean, they're great too, but are stiff in comparison. This sounds like it was fun to make and is just a joy to listen to, and contains quite a few of my all-time faves.

On my list:

Insane/Cool It
Be It Not For The Serpentine Rain Dodger
Scuffle With Nature
Wig Stomper
Fairly Blacking Out
Bullfighter's Cut