Quote Unquote Records
If your band were to release an album on Quote Unquote Records, it's essentially a guarantee that a pretty sizeable amount of people will end up listening to your shit. There's of course sites like Death to False Hopes and If You Make It, which do the same thing as Quote Unquote, but there's something more special about Quote and what it's doing.
Quote Unquote is the first donation-based record label ever done. It was founded by Jeff Rosenstock of Arrogant Sons of Bitches so that he could release material he was creating solo under the name Bomb the Music Industry. Almost everyone reading this essentially knows the story behind all of this, and a lot of you are pretty familiar with Quote Unquote and how their shit is run. Jeff helps a band out by putting their album up on the site, anyone interested in listening to them can stream them online or download the entire album for free. And if you like what you hear, you can donate to the site via paypal. Fucking brilliant. Jeff has stated that even though his band Bomb the Music Industry has all of their albums for free on Quote Unquote, their record sales for their physical albums are roughly the same as other top bands on Asian Man Records. Releasing music for free does not mean less sales; it just means happier fans.
Regardless, the reason for all of this background information and hooplah is that Pteradon just released a new album on Quote Unquote Records, and I'm going to review this free motherfucker.
According to Quote Unquote's website, this album was recorded in a warehouse and took three years before they finally recorded and released it. The vocals were also done by singer Morgan after getting out of a serious operation, and while smoking a pack and a half of Kools a day. I read this while listening to the first song "Kickball" on repeat, and I definitely could see the correlation between the method in which the vocals were recorded and the finished product. The vocals are indeed gruff and a little bit sloppy, but honestly, if I never read that little bit of information, I would've never noticed. I would've just assumed it was all intentional, because it fucking works. This song is short and cooler than a rabbit with a mustache, a monacle, and a fucking pipe.
If you had only listened to the first song on this album, you would've went away from it thinking this was just a straight forward punk band with some seriously awesome vocals. But then you listen to the following songs and you start to realize something else about this band. Whereas they may be punk in theory, in execution there's a lot more going on. There are a variety of influences and there's definitely some weirdness and shit that sounds improvisational, if not at least reached by extreme experimentation. Listen to songs like "Urban Pirate" and "Hey Freddie Mercury" and you'll know what I mean. There's a little bit of a Latterman edge to some of these tunes, really. And you can definitely tell that they share a certain bond with Shinobu (Do you know who shinobu are? They're fucking awesome, is who they are".
If I didn't suck at making music, this is pretty similar to the kind of music I would make. Listening to the song "Iron Lung" on this album makes me wish I started playing guitar 10 years earlier and had the ability to write lyrics that weren't just about the bear or Harry Potter stuff. It's catchy, it takes talent, but most of all, the lyrics are really fucking good. Kudos have to be given to these dudes for this songwriting, and kudos need to be given to Jeff for getting this shit on Quote Unquote.
The use of leads instead of power chords is pretty abundant throughout this record. It's definitely the proper rock n roll edge required to make this shit special. This isn't meat and potatoes punk rock, but it will fill you up as if it were a lot of fucking meat and potatoes. And you'll think it tastes awesome, even if you're vegan. Because if you're vegan it automatically becomes like pasta and potatoes or something equally awesome. Don't spoil your dinner, dudes, you need to save room for Pteradon and fuck that whole "don't eat within three hours of bedtime" rule, listen to this shit all night. I mean, what else would you sleep to rather than the 7 minutes and 50 seconds song "Taking Time Takes Time"? This song has some sweet time signature change where it slows the fuck down, delivers some infectious vocals, and then proceeds to beat you with a metal/psychadelic guitar solo...AND THEN IT'S BACK TO THE FUCKING ROCK, BOYS. What's weird to me, is how much this song sounds like a song I like by the Dayton band Sleep Fleet. But, I'm fairly certain these bands don't even know each other at all. Musical minds think alike.
In case you were wondering, the almost eight minute song never actually ends, you lucky dog, you. Actually, it does. And while that might be tragic, you're given the song "V-ger" to make everything all right. I was about to declare this as my favorite song on the album, but I can't make such a blanket statement without putting a lot more thought into it. I'm going to have to give this album like 50 more listens before I make any of those decisions. Especially since I almost said that about every song, whereas clearly "Contraband" is my favorite, or maybe "Pure H" is...Or maybe it's the closer, "Kids In..." I honestly have no idea. I love all of these songs. The vocals sound real as fuck and the lyrics are radder than ninja turtles shooting dice in the Land of Oz.
"Pure H" is another one of those experimental songs that reminds me a lot of Shinobu and badassedness in general. I would say you can't get much better than this song, but as stated previously, the next song always ruins that for me. It's not that the songs just get better, it's just that the most recent one you hear seems to be your favorite, because they're all fucking awesome. The final song "Kids In" is just awesome. It starts off with some cool guitar business with some really emotional sounding vocals, which are 'huft tuft, ruff and stuff" and executed in such a beautiful way. I almost said beautiful fucking way, but I'm trying to tone down my language for our younger, high school readers. Guess what happens to this nice soft little tune? It gets HARDER, FUCK YEAH! It keeps the same quirky lead guitar quality, while throwing in some distortion and putting its boot up your ass, in the nicest, most friendly way possible.
You'll either love this record, or you'll lie to yourself. I don't mean to be a pretentious music prick, but my taste in music is better than yours. I'm totally joking, but you should still give this album like 50 listens and judge it for yourself. Since it's for free on Quote Unquote, you can do just that. You can also donate to the band via paypal. You have the links, now go break some hearts. I don't know if that even applies here. Love you guys.
Tim Says: One of the best albums this year already!