Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 – Tangle (1989)
I was going to review “The Taller You Are, The Shorter You Get,” by My Dad is Dead for this entry, but I just realized that I have an overwhelming amount of Homestead Records releases on here, so I decided to review a different album this time, instead. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE IN SECOND PLACE, THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282?????
Tangle is pretty ridiculous and kind of doesn’t make any sense, much like the other Thinking Fellers releases. They have this weird atmosphere working for them the entire time, where you can’t really tell if they’re creepy/bordering on mentally ill, drunk, or really like cartoons- and sometimes all of these moods happen at once. Also, they opened for Live on tour, one time, which is pretty weird, though it makes sense when you realize all of the fans that helped make “The Dolphin’s Cry” a hit were alcoholic mental patients that watched a lot of cartoons. However, those live fans did NOT like layers and layers of staccato-heavy riffs, but I bet YOU do, which is why you’re reading this page, not listening to Secret Samadhi, and are absolutely craving such riffs, for which the Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 is a veritable bargain outlet! Think of them, at least on this particular effort, as some sort of outsider music version of Sonic Youth- without the sass.
Most of these songs are mid-tempo and lack the limitless 30 second between-song “Feller filler” that their other albums contain, which can be grating, hilariously immature, worthless, or all three at once. Mostly grating and worthless, though. So, yeah, there’s only like THREE of those on here, and they’re barely noticeable, so if you don’t like making decisions, you won’t have to skip ’em, and you’ll never notice. Just sit there, not noticing anything and don’t ever think again. Because of those few joke snippets seeming like intros and outros, however, you get this whole feeling of this album being one big, flowing effort- like I said, a lot of the songs don’t really make any sense, layer a bunch of weird guitar parts on top of each other, and change a lot. Pair this with them all being of similar tempo, and you have that whole, false “THIS IS ONE BIG LONG FLOWING ALBUM OMG YOU GOTTA LISTEN TO THIS ALL AT ONCE OR YOU JUST WON’T GET IT” feeling you got the first time you heard Dark Side of the Moon while getting a handjob from that girl down the hall who you got all high on joints with.
Let’s face it though, in reality, it’s just a bit hard to pull out traits of individual tracks that will really draw your attention, even though there’s tons of stuff going on in each one. Different tracks have notable “that’s weird” qualities- “Sister Hell” introduces some yelling out of nowhere, making me wonder how many singers this band actually has (I have no idea, but it’s either one with about 6 weird voices, or 3 with two weird voices each), occasionally there are some horns that come in and never come back again, and “It Wasn’t Me,” opens with the amazing line, “Who are you?/You look like my dad!” and, contrary to popular belief, is not a Shaggy cover. Oh, and “Change Your Mind” has some weird part where they keep stopping the music and shouting about a flashlight stuck in someone’s chest.
After re-reading all that I’ve just written, I know that this album may seem like some sort of hellish, half-drunk nightmare, but it’s actually quite a bit of fun. But not cutesy fun, it’s still pretty creepy, but goofy. Sort of like a violent drunk making a bunch of hilarious jokes. He only got violent that one time though, a few years ago, and it hasn’t come back again, but you’re still bracing for it.
ENJOY! Also, if you correctly count the number of commas used in this post, I will personally respond to your comment asking if you are, in fact, correct, as I myself am too lazy to count, but there seem to be quite a few.
THANK your feller here, 282 times, for this download: