Wednesday, 19 September 2012

T.D. Reisert - Conneaut

I wrote this review for an online magazine some time ago. Having played the record in question lately, I decided to reprint it.

In a day and age where even the most vehement anti-capitalist punk bands sell shirts/stickers/pins/underwear/used soda cans, it’s good to know that there are still some folks out there just giving their work away. I have no idea if the folks at 80H Records intend their label to be an anti-capitalist institution. They could all be interns for Rush Limbaugh; making his coffee and securing him illegal drugs and child pornography. They might run a Republican support group on College Campuses in New England. Truth be told, I have no clue. All I know is that they have a slew of bands that release “records” via mp3 format on their website. They put up covers for them and everything, so I regard them as ‘official releases’. Hell, and after swimming through hundreds of used copies of Yellowcard cds at my local record shop that folks rightfully sold back, I would say the world would be a better place if some bands restricted their output to the mp3 variety.

T.D. Reisert may be a band, but I don’t think so. From what I discern, “Conneaut” is a one man project from a very lonely guy. A lonely guy that does not like to tune his guitar, or play recognizable chords either. His voice is way out of tune as well, not that you could sing in a proper tone to the songs anyhow. You are probably thinking, “What the F*ck! This guy gave the record a rather good score, and this review sounds like some emo boy who doesn’t know how to sing or play!” Well, in an odd way, that’s why the record is noticeably interesting.

The songs are so distant and sad, and presented in a way that gives the silence and surrounding ambiance a staring role. I say they are sad, but I can’t really pick up that many words the guy is singing. It just sounds depressing. Like I said, his voice is way out of tune, but it never seems to be in disagreement with the general sound of the track. In a day and age where many bands, even punk ones, strive to remove all forms of imperfection form their sound, it is especially interesting to hear someone put all those imperfections so clearly in the front of the record. You can hear the physical strumming of the electric guitar over the amplification, and it just seems to work for the songs.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this record is for everyone. In fact, it is suited for a very small percentage of the music community. Since you won’t hear it outside of the 80h records website, I would say T.D. Reisert will remain completely unknown. That’s too bad however, since I think the honesty of the record could be enjoyed by a number of people, even those who don’t think they would listen to this type of “rock and roll.”

With bands like Wolf Eyes selling out venues and noise acts getting signed left and right, maybe independent music audiences are starting to warm up to “difficult compositions.” Regrettably, the chances that this whole noise ‘popularity’ thing is just a fad are rather great. Not that it matters, there will always be something different out there if you really want to find it. You could start with “Conneaut”, since its freakin free and worth every cent! If you happened to read all the way through this review, you should at least check it out for yourself and give it your own assessment.

Download the EP from 80H Records

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