Bedhead – The Dark Ages (1996)
I’ve been lazy at keeping this blog up lately, and it’s not gonna stop, because this is merely a 3 SONG EP! That’s right, the returns coming at longer intervals and are still diminishing- this review can’t possibly be that long! It’s a good thing that this is one of the best EPs released in the 90s by anyone ever, except for maybe the OTHER Bedhead EP and Pavement’s “Watery, Domestic.” And with that sentence, I abandon the “blatant subjectivity” portion of my post and forge ahead to the point where I cleverly trick you into thinking you are reading something free of bias, yet I manage to persuade you to take the time to click a download link.
So, as I just said, The Dark Ages is a three song EP that totals up to a very satisfying 15 minutes. Each song, though definitely within the “traditional” Bedhead territory, has a very distinct and different focus from the other ones. The title track is unusually drum-driven and has very clear vocals- two things that didn’t appear much on any Bedhead releases until their final (next) album, Transaction de Novo. This, paired with their usual style of splitting the lead melody between three interlocking guitars, makes for an unusually cathartic experience that occasionally brings a tear to my eye, which, being as manly as I am, means a lot. This is immediately followed by “Inhume,” a song that functions as a polar opposite- barely any percussion and no vocals for an entirely atmospheric six minute build up that gets LOUDER but never really changes. Yes, that probably sounds awful in writing, but it’s really quite pleasant. Finally, we have “Any Life,” which is a (slightly) faster paced country-influenced tune, sort of a more melancholic sequel to “To the Ground,” off of their first album. There’s also a really nice slide (steel? I don’t know, I can’t really tell on this particular song) guitar thrown in right towards the end.
So, there you have it. Those last few sentences were a fucking tragedy, as I kept editing them for two weeks and never got ’em to a point with which I was pleased, so now I’m just publishing this thing because it’s been almost two months since my last one.
REMIND ME NEVER TO REVIEW A THREE SONG EP AGAIN! I hesitate to even “publish” this one, but like I said before, it’s really one of the best EPs around. You’ll thank me later after a period of anger and boredom reading that awful middle paragraph.
*Upon reading that paragraph again, it wasn’t really THAT bad, but I have been looking at it so long that it seems to have totally lost its meaning, SO YOU BE THE JUDGE! Leave me some comments- should I be ashamed? Exuberant? Proud? Indifferent? Aroused? That’s it- send me some arousing comments.
After all of those excuses, here’s the goddamn download link: