Man oh man, I’ve been lazy. I have no real excuse for taking so long to update (I know you were holding your breath), except for finally and officially getting the internet along with Netflix instant play- I have to catch up on all of these acclaimed original televisions series that I’ve missed out on- mostly Two and a Half Men and Everybody Loves Raymond.
Enough with the excuses. Make It Pop is one of my faaaaaaaaves. Even though it did get reviewed a few big places (this seriously may be the only album that I’ve ever picked up after reading its review on Pitchfork years after the fact), most people I’ve talked to seem to be unfamiliar with it, which is a shame, because anyone I’ve played it for (who is into this particular kind of music) seems to think it’s great.
The Giddy Motors were all British and stuff, so they sounded exactly like the Beatles. Their singer, Gaveric de Vis, had an Andrew Falkous-y Mclusky sort of shout, and the rest of the band sounded like they were doing their best at attempting to create a follow-up Rapeman LP brimming with plentiful out-of-nowhere jazzy breaks and interludes. You may not think that sounds to much like the Beatles, but take this into consideration- if those four gentlemen had never worked with Phil Spector and hadn’t turned down that offer to time travel to 1991 Chicago, this is basically what Let It Be would have sounded like.
That whole “out-of-nowhere” time shift and/or occasional jazz influence is evident immediately, as the opener, “Magmanic,” turns from a bashing Rapeman/Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid type thing to a sudden halt and continues at a half-speed dirge when the vocals kick in, only to slowly speed up throughout the course of the song. Unexpectedly, at least to me, after this point, only about half the songs have that expected Albini treble-scrape noise-rock guitar thing going on, but the composition in all of them (except one- I’ll get to that in a bit) is brimming with that crazed/creepy/noise-rock/90s Chicago/”pigfuck”/what-have-you atmosphere.
The highlight of the “not scrape-y” songs is, by far, “Hit Cap,” which happens to be track two! What makes up for the lack of noisy guitar in this one is a really noisy free jazz-style saxophone skronkin’ and blurtin’ all over the whole damn song along with the drums that also seem to frantically be all over the place- including somewhere bongo-ish. All of this paired with some very eccentric vocal delivery make for a crazed (yeah I already said crazed once in this review), nervous-sounding, near-wreck of a song that culminates perfectly in a rather loud blast of squealing noise and yelling towards the end. Best song on the album, IMO. LOL.
Everything else falls somewhere in between, but has its own highlights, whether it be more weird vocal touches, instrumentation, or even an oddly included Fugazi-ish dub influence, as on “Cranium Crux.” The one track that deviates from all of this, which I told you I would talk about at some point, is “Venus Medallist,” which is basically just a really pretty song with strings. By itself, it’s a perfectly fine song, but it really kills the mood of the album as the next-to-last track. Other bands have done this, but managed to make their “break in the madness” song still carry some sort of weird tension in it, as to not totally distract from the mood, but this song does not work in that way. However, as I mentioned earlier, this album is one of my faaaaaaves, so apparently this isn’t that much of a strike to the quality of Make It Pop as I just made it seem. Like I said, the song itself is fine, you just have to be ready for all prior mood and atmosphere to be halted for almost five minutes towards the end of the album.
So, yes, this is pretty sweet and you should give it a shot. The Giddy Motors have one more album after this, Do Easy, that is also highly recommended, though it pretty much dumps the weird jazz thing for more streamlined songs and straight aggressiveness. Anyway, this review is getting to be a little long, and I know what you’re all saying- Make It Stop!
Download the album here, as I contemplate suicide over that last joke: