Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Poster Children- Tool Of The Man

I’ve got a huge amount of respect for the Poster Children. They’ve been at it as long as anyone, and were the first band that I can remember who used the internet to its fullest potential to promote themselves. Their web page was cavernous, this absolute wealth of information, which added to the general feeling that the band just happened to be a bunch of people who played instruments and toured, you know? They always came across as amazingly accessible and friendly folks.

I don’t have any other Poster Children records, so I have no idea where this album falls in their sonic spectrum. ‘Tool Of The Man’ is interesting- the guitars and bass lock together, leaving the drums to take care of the trebly end of the spectrum way in the back of the mix, using mostly cymbal hits. This swirling vortex of sound that must completely own live. Complex, but not altogether mathy (except for this one song that might as well be a June of 44 outtake) and never dull.

v/a- Post Marked Stamps

You know how comps are: there’s great stuff and there’s crap. I decided that I’d approach this one in the most diplomatic manner possible, choosing not to consult the liner notes until the disc was over. That way, I figured, I’d get a pretty clear and unbiased line of thinking about the songs featured- a series of anthologized singles originally released on vinyl by Tree Records in the late nineties, at the height of post/emo blah.

We’ll lump ‘em into categories.

*Bands I knew without having to check the packaging:

-Cerberus Shoal (I have one amazingly lush and tidal album of theirs that I played the shit out of in the summer of 1998. Recognized ‘em on the comp because of the saxophone’s tone)
-Braid (A superior, Broach-less song form late in their career, one that Amanda put on a mix tape for me way back in the day)
-Get Up Kids (a cool band to dislike/easy band to talk shit about, but only because they essentially nailed it very early on and made everyone else jealous)
-Rainer Maria (their fucking yowling still irritates me as much as ever)
-Tim Kinsella (shoot me in the face)

*Kinda okay singer songwriter stuff:

-Jen Wood
-Still Life (an Ebullition band that I always wanted to like way more than I actually did)
-Deadwood Divine
-Haelah (a little bit more psych-tinged than the rest of the stuff, but we’ll still put ‘em in this category)

*Stuff I should’ve recognized but didn’t:

-Giants Chair (no vocals, unusually subdued)
-Hal El Shedad (I’ve got one of their records, the one that came with the fake dossier. I listened to their song on this comp and assumed that it was Garden Variety)
-Ida (I loved this one Neil Young cover Hope put on a mix for me once)

*Cool spazzy math/jazzcore shit:
-A Minor Forest
-Sweep The Leg Johnny (Steinmetz, you were right- shit rules)

*Best song on the record:
-Very Secretary (an almost note-for-note ripoff of ‘Stairway To Heaven’ with a first lyric of “Falling like a stairway.” Awesome.)


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