Sunday, June 24, 2012
NEEDLECRAFT: SEWIN' UP THE OLDIES
There isn't much I can say about Needlecraft that hasn't perhaps been summed up better elsewhere, or by the many of the little buzzing bees around Missoula who've been singing their praises since they started playing shows earlier this year. There's a reason for that honeyed excitement around these parts: Needlecraft simultaneously conjure up an adoration for the oh-so-sweet-pre-Altamont-sixties (all bouffants, cat eyed specs, and a pistol-less, knob twiddling Phil Spector), and an extremely sarcastic skewering of those blase, incorrect depictions of women that unfortunately often go hand in hand with those ideas. Some people write dissertations on it--they started a fucking band, daddy-o.
It's easy to hit on certain touchstones within their sound: the aforementioned Spector girl-groups, The Shaggs (not in the playing as much as the weird deadpan enthusiasm and conviction of the tunes), and maybe a little of that 90s Kill Rock Stars/K attitude to round out the whole jam from becoming a nostalgic round of pin the tail on the corpse. All the while, the capital-P Pop isn't lost in there. The songs are tightly structured two minute bursts of off-kilter joy that can often be hilarious if not a little raunchy (in a good way). The harmonies are skewed, the lyrics are cynical, the songs are like glue. Every time I hear "Jeff," I can't help but feel a little sorry for the titular character and his "really nice ass" while still really, really enjoying--hell, reveling in--the candor and dark humor of it all. It's a little like the sonic representation of a John Waters movie. And that, cool cats, is a very groovy thing.