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Friday, August 2

LOFTUS / PITCHFORK 8.4 BEST NEW REISSUE



If there's a few things we know about here at CTD, it's Coedine, Red Red Meat, Rex, and, of course, Loftus.  We're excited to know that we're not the only ones who know of said incredible bands, and certainly, we're triple excited that Jealous Butcher's LP reissue of the Rex / Red Red Meat collaboration Loftus, received an 8.4 Best New Reissue on Pitchfork today.


"In 1995, the the Chicago-based band Red Red Meat and the Brooklyn-based band Rex concluded a tour and decided to record together. Red Red Meat was on the road behind their minor masterpiece Bunny Gets Paid, while Rex, a slowcore band that included drummer Doug Scharin, also of Codeine, was promoting their self-titled debut on Southern Records. The bands had some things in common: both could be very subtle and focused on details, letting space do a lot of work, and both were steeped in the history of American music and ready to bend the textures and songs of the past to their own, more postmodern, ends. The joint record was recorded by Chicago mainstay Bundy K. Brown and Red Red Meat sonic mastermind Brian Deck and the sessions were described as loose and improvisatory. The resulting record, Loftus, wouldn’t be released until 2000, by which time both original bands were no longer. To say that initial issue of the album didn’t get around would be an understatement. I know many serious fans of Red Red Meat and Califone (the Tim Rutili-led band band RRM transitioned into) who have never heard of it. It seemed somehow appropriate that this artifact, which sounded like something that been pulled out from underneath a rotting log, would fade away. But now it returns with this lovingly assembled vinyl/digital reissue. 

The album alternates proper songs with instrumental interludes that feel more like sketches but somehow, the patchy nature of the album as a whole works to its advantage…there are some fantastic songs mixed in with the drones and creaks, and the juxtaposition of the two is what really makes the record. 'Haywine' begins with one of the eeriest blues riffs I’ve heard, as single notes of palpable texture are bent into a gorgeously expressive shape, and the song that emerges from the fog, the voice processed to a half-dead gurgle, expresses a rare sense of downcast weariness. 'Stolen From a Rifle Clean Brothel' is a bracingly simple upbeat blues, just acoustic guitar, a bass, and a bit of cheesy organ, and has the dank tossed off-brilliance as the third side of Exile on Main Street, the sort of thing Royal Trux was also nailing around this time." 


And we think this guy gets a 10.0, fyi. Your captain's photo courtesy of Pat Graham/Modest Mouse.

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