June 5, 2011

Be Prepared: Louder My Dear | What's The Matter With You, Rock? | 10 June

Louder My Dear -- What's The Matter With You, Rock?
There is a shape-shifting, new wave heart beating (ahem, loudly) within the Midriff Records camp, within a new band that is as comfortable trading in raunchy guitar is it is with fluid electronics. Louder My Dear is the vehicle of Dave Grabowski, who previously helmed Midriff act Scuba. In addition to steering the nine-month old Louder My Dear, Mr. Grabowski is currently part of a unit (along with his brother, The Beatings' drummer Dennis Grabowski, who also plays guitar with LMD), that aids and abets E.R. Louder My Dear's forthcoming collection remarkably expands the aforementioned label's sonic aesthetic by drawing upon sounds as disparate as those made by Echo & The Bunnymen ("Just Kids") or the lesser known German synth pop concern Camouflage ("Angels & Eurotrash").

But viewing the quartet's work solely within the context of the label likely unfairly constrains listeners' ability to appreciate everthing that What's The Matter With You, Rock? can be. For all of its myriad, interesting aural textures, it is the relatively straightforward ballad "Little Boat," which closes the album, that steals the entire show. Basic acoustic guitar, a poignant set of lyrics and tasteful synth appointments and backing ahhhhhs together result in a weighty and beautiful sadness that demands rapt attention. It's the sort of song Michael Stipe could use to finance complete private school educations for all of his non-existent children. If there is one shortcoming of What's The Matter With You, Rock?, it is that the band's dazzling, dazzling cover of Slowdive's "Alison" is left off the record. Midriff releases the collection June 10; it's only a matter of time before you can purchase the record for yourself right here. In the meantime, channel "Alison" and Louder My Dear's own "Clamshack" below.

Louder My Dear's "Alison" (Slowdive Cover)

Louder My Dear's "Clamshack"

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