Atole - Strike Zone/Dirtybird
Community Library. 7” single. 300 copies.
Regular readers will realise that me and links to MP3’s [sent for the purpose of reviewing] make for uncomfortable bedfellows. I realise that the link may lead to a release that will cause a seismic shift in my musical understanding resulting in me hurriedly putting 99% of my record collection on eBay, getting into religion, selling the house and moving to India to work for the Red Cross but at the end of the day its still an MP3 link.
Community Library understand this and in an email exchange I pointed out that my inbox is sacrosanct, a place of refuge, not a dumping ground for any malcontent with more time on time on his hands than talent. In reply their head cheese stated that sending links for review is now deemed standard practice and that some review sites actually prefer this method as it leads to a reduced accumulation of unwanted detritus. Mmmmm, well I guess I’m not one of them but for Community Library I will make an exception seeing as how their previous release, a collection of The Units rarities, was damned near stuck in my CD player for weeks on end.
First let us pass the hurdle that is MP3. My opinion of MP3’s is that they are better than nothing and they sure make carrying music about a lot easier. I remember going on holiday in the 80’s and half my suitcase was taken up with cassettes. These days I can carry more music to Paxos, than I could ever listen in seven days, in a gadget that takes up less space than a ten pack of fags. That’s a big plus in any travelers world. The sound quality leaves a lot to be desired of course. If you’re desperate for that must have Tangerine Dream bootleg then I guess anything will do but when I sit down on a Saturday night, glass of malt in hand I don’t put the iPod on shuffle, I dig out vinyl and luxuriate in all its many qualities and after about half the bottle has gone I want to pick up each one in turn and smother them all in alcohol sealed kisses telling them that they’ll always have me and that I’ll never leave them for a series of digital ones and zeros.
Which brings me back to Atole and their seven inch single which I don’t have but of which I do have two slim MP3 files of. Atole’s good time synth music is like a cross between Devo and Chic and judging by the photo on CL’s website has the delirious females of Portland jumping about like demented pixies. Squeaky vocal additions come on like DJ shout outs crossed with repetitive ‘oi oi oi’s’. The drums are rapid and punk like, the bass is rumping pumping and the whole thing would no doubt liven up any party down your street where people want to have a good time whilst clipping the light shades with their exuberant pogoing. The flip is an instrumental that you could also jump about to but without the squeaky vocals its just a taster.
The record itself looks a thing of beauty with a pop out sleeve and some Aztec artwork but I don’t have it in my hand. All I have in my hand is a forefinger that was once pressed on play and is now hovering above stop.