What can I say. When this album came out in 2008, I was sleepin’. Hard. BUT NO LONGER.
Monthly Archives: January 2014
This Saturday, January 11, Thunderegg plays live at VAMP Music/Art/Consignment, 331 19th Street, Oakland. What’s more, it’s for VAMP’s monthly Vintage Mart. So you can flip through used LPs and (I hope) boxes of baseball cards and Matchbox cars while nodding along to Mock Church (1pm), the Egg (2pm), and SF supergroup the Attracted (3pm). It seems the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. See you there!
Another long-lost review, this time from Tape Op, circa February 2001, when the home-recording magazine still included a monthly feature by Rob Christensen called Under the Radar: reviews of home-recorded albums by unsigned artists. This was also before Pro Tools and Garage Band, when recording an album at home was still a little unusual. I was a Tape Op subscriber and fan (still am), and I remember reading this review on the same day that I got my job at Esquire; it was a good day.
The album Christensen describes below is actually a sampler I sent out with an early, homemade edition of the Open Book lyric booklet, not something that was ever commercially available.
Sometimes I think there’s way too many bands in the world. Thunderegg, like many others, deserves far more attention than they’re getting. They’re super prolific (the informational booklet lists 163 songs recorded between 1995 and 1998) and the songs are really good. This CD is called a Demo, but it probably should be titled Greatest Hits. The songs here come from three albums [Thunderegg, Powder to the People, and The Envelope Pushes Back]. Highlights included the V.U.-like opener “You Showed Them to Me,” chronicling a once happy marriage gone bad. I can hear Lou Reed singing it, though the singing here doesn’t come off as angry as Lou’s. There’s also the very nice “Christina Stopped Playing Her Violin,” about a love who’s found someone else. Thunderegg is mostly Will Georgantas recording to a Tascam Porta 7 4-track, aided by a SansAmp GT-2, Boss Dr. Rhythm 550, “3-for-$29.99 Sam Ash highball mics,” a Yamaha home keyboard, and a bunch of old Boss effects pedals. Clever lyrics are abundant, and Georgantas is a truly original songwriter.
This is an old review of The Envelope Pushes Back written by Ryan Tranquilla for the now-defunct Splendid eZine. In the world of online music reviews, Splendid, which existed from 1996 to 2005, was particularly wonderful because it reviewed every single piece of music that was sent its way. (Here’s a nice tribute.) I’m thinking that Splendid ended because its office collapsed under the sheer weight of unsolicited CD-Rs.
The site is long gone, but recently I unearthed a few old reviews that I’d copied and pasted. This probably ran sometime in the spring of 2001.
The Envelope Pushes Back
Orange Entropy Records
Surprisingly affecting, low-key without being gratingly lo-fi, transcending the snarkiness of their personas—band members include Will Bite and Woodpile—Thunderegg deliver an hour’s worth of wordy pop songs. With a productivity rivaling Guided by Voices (The Envelope… is the second of two discs recorded in 2000), Thunderegg have spent time woodshedding on their so-called “snippets” records; the new album, subsequently, doesn’t substitute a quick melody and a dash of nonsense for fully constructed songs.
By turns humorous and earnest, the band glows with an easy lyrical and musical intelligence. The disc comes packaged, for instance, in an actual envelope (Look at the album title again if this doesn’t make sense to you—Ed.); that kind of attention to detail sets the band’s music apart. Love, its pitfalls and half-triumphs, consumes much of the record, but its examination occurs without pathos and with a coy self-awareness: “Baby, you’re not getting what you deserve,” Bite sings on “Keep It with You”. “And it’s getting on my nerves/that I’ve shown I can’t give a lot.” Fortunately for the rest of us, this envelope doesn’t get lost in the mail.