Thursday, November 12, 2009

Union Suit Characters: Lo-Fi & Catchy

If you were to search for the band Union Suit Characters on teh Google, you wouldn't find a lot--basically, their page, an Amazon download and the great piece Daytrotter did on them this summer, which is how I ran into them. And it is perhaps that lack of info and hype out there on the nets is perhaps what leads Daytrotter to climb out on this limb:
It's a claim that's preposterous to ever utter as there are so many nooks and crannies to account for, so many different tastes and criteria to consider, but on behalf of the entirety of Daytrotter, I will confidently and without shame or waver make this statement: Joliet, Illinois' Union Suit Characters could very well be the best unsigned band in the whole United States of America.
Well, I don't know--how could anyone? But I will say that Streetcar Legs has been playing in my various decks a lot for the last couple months. What you have here are a couple guys recording a lo-fi record in their own digs--so prepare for starts and stops, tape-hiss and generally the quality of a home production. But that is all for the good.

The songs are nothing complicated. You have piano chords--never melody lines or solos. You got your drums--just doing rhythm and the very occasional fill. Add in an understated bass line and a smattering of guitar here and there you have it. The instrumentation is minimal, but they make some noise with the drum and chord progressions generally being pretty insistent. But on top of that you have catchy melodies that make for short, simple, singable songs.

Let me throw a couple tunes at you that are pretty representative--you get the lo-fi feel, definitely the driving chord structure and the boppy melodic approach all wrapped up neatly. The first is "Fruit form the Park" which I always wish went on for a while longer. The second "Diamond's Teeth" is perhaps the most complete song on the album. There are a couple slower tunes, but these capture the album quite well.

If you are interested in picking it up, you are going to have to do the download thing as this one doesn't seem to be available any "how" else.

Fruit from the Park
Diamond's Teeth

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