Saturday, September 20, 2008

Will Get Fooled Again - or - Six More Years

I'm always scared when a band I love releases new material. When this happens I often purchase or download a record as soon as I can, but don't listen to it for days or weeks, waiting for the perfect moment when I have cleared my mind enough of preconceptions to be able to give it a fresh, level headed listen.

Max Tundra's Mastered By Guy At the Exchange is one of the best records of the 21st century, and after six years, it's follow-up, Parallax Error Beheads You is coming out in November. Given my fondness for idiosyncratic pop musicians with distinctive and conversational lyrical voices, this should come as no surprise. What's surprising is that I managed to force myself to listen to the first single so soon.

It did not let me down:

This is the video for "Will Get Fooled Again" which I understand to be the album's first single.

I saw this for the first time the other day and, having never before witnessed Mr. Tundra in motion, I was primarily amazed by not the song, but by the fact that he was as charismatic visually as he is on record. While this song isn't the strongest thing he's ever released, (see "Lysine" or "Lights" for that) it's probably the best video he's done and, after six years devoid of any new recorded output, it's welcome as hell. The dance he does here toward the middle of the video is enough to make my day for days.

Most importantly, the song retains many of the indispensable qualities of Mastered by Guy: Max's clipped, unassuming voice against the sort of meticulous and playful beats the likes of which I've only ever heard from him. My rationale for loving Max Tundra as I do, stated simply, would read something like "only Max Tundra can be Max Tundra." It would have been a real travesty if he had somehow lost himself in the past six years, and I am overjoyed that it seems like he didn't. If this record doesn't end up as one of my favorites for 2008 I'll be mightily surprised and thoroughly disappointed.

If the video above didn't work, you should be able to watch it here.

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