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v/vm, "whine and missingtoe"

Just in time for the holidays is the reissue of V/Vm Test Records' very first Christmas single! Included on the new 3" are all six tracks from the original 7" single plus a brand new Christmas treat for 2001: a timeless terrible Paul McCartney tune that time forgot, "Pipes of Peace". Sure, we all know that the Stockport crew are a bunch of hacks, but there's something amazingly charming about the sounds of deformed classics threadded through hosts of effects, banks and glitches along with creepy new takes on irritating joyous songs unavoidable like that Salvation Army guy with the bell who won't stop. After a long day of avoiding grouchy drivers, pushy shoppers and everything else that comes along with the holiday season, it's nice to throw on something haunting like Animal's "Oil Come All Ye Industrial" or the chopped-up audio collage of Prof. Broxburn's "Christmas Fractions and Brandy Snaps" at unbearingly loud volumes. I think that's even James and Andy singing karaoke on the V/Vm live show 1997 track! And to think these guys claim to have never heard of Nurse With Wound!




The Eye: Video of the Day

Einstürzende Neubauten

YouTube Video

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Review of the Day

Hayden, "Skyscraper National Park"
Badman Recording Co.
Don't blame Canada. It just so happens they have some pretty damn fantastic songwriters. Current exhibit Hayden took the music industry by storm with his self-recorded and self-released debut 'Everything I Long For'. The storm was big enough for him to get signed to Geffen imprint Outpost. Woe to those on Outpost, though, after the Unigram merger, as the label was dissolved in the deal. Many of the artists were snatched up by other labels, but Hayden was left in the cold after the mixed-bag sophomore slump of his second CD, 'The Closer I Get'. So he hibernated. And waited. And went back to his roots, recording again in his home with some close friends. The results are this underrated album that was originally planned as a 1000 copy limited addition, but was snatched up by Badman after demand was high. Not a departure by any means, 'Skyscraper National Park' is instead signs of introspective growth as well as hope for this talented songwriter to finally get the attention he deserves. Where previous works have featured Hayden's low growl, this record has him singing quite capably, even touching Kurt Wagner territory on a few songs. The primary modus operandi hasn't changed, though. Slower, melodic folk rock songs with quirky lyrics are the order of the day, with electric guitar used as a squelch tool and noisemaker on such fare as "Dynamite Walls". And Hayden is clearly finding his voice again after almost three years away from recording. He's a little hesitant, and less than perfect vocally on these songs, but it's still refreshing compared to other home-recorded CDs being released these days. My only complaint is it's length - eleven songs at just over thirty-nine minutes is better than most, but after three years I wanted to hear more. All told, though, it's a great indication where Hayden is now, and where this wave might take him. Look for Hayden's recent live album in addition, as word is it's brilliant.



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