Single Frame Wetheads Come Running

[Already Gone; 2003]

Rating: 5/5

Styles: eclectic synth-driven post-hardcore
Others: Milemarker, Death From Above, Me Without You, Reaching Quiet

I absolutely love the Internet. Without it, I think I would truly be miserable. I would hate to have to force myself to watch all the excruciatingly horrible TV shows that have recently become the norm. With the exception of a play-off game or two, I pretty much try to stay clear of TV at all costs. I mean, what other invention besides the Internet has really made life as bearable? I can easily remember a time when it wasn’t available and how difficult it was to find someone who could recommend good music. The only thing I’d be exposed to were the typical “alt-rock” bands that I basically had to accept simply because that’s all there was. Over the last five years or so, the Internet has become an unparalleled source for music information. 

Reading about some of today’s most unknown/under-appreciated bands has become a part of my daily routine; it makes me wonder how many bands were overlooked due to this previous constraint. Thanks to sites like ours (hopefully), our colleagues over at Pitchfork, and a long list of other independent music reviewers, we now have the ability to learn about bands who otherwise would have never seen the light of day. This medium has truly changed things forever, and hopefully is exposing a lot of independent artists who are attempting to get their music out to the public.

With that said, I must give proper respect to the guys over at Pitchfork for exposing Single Frame to a lot of people. I bet the band is having a hell of a time keeping up with the orders (including mine) that have been placed for this wonderful album called Wetheads Come Running. When you visit their web site, you’ll see that they’ve personally made their own packaging for this album. It’s this do-it-yourself aesthetic that is one of the many appealing aspects about this release. One of the others is that in just under forty minutes, Single Frame challenges to take you on ride through an onslaught of collage-rock songs. Hailing from the trendiest college town in Texas, this Austin-based trio is about to set the underground electro-punk movement on its side.

To list any influences would have me writing for quite some time.  There are at least a hundred snippets on this album that remind me of something I’ve heard before. The beautiful part, however, is that it’s almost as if Single Frame have taken the single best moments of histories premier albums and glued them together into their own beloved child. Like Beck and DJ Shadow (who both use collage as a way of creating their own music), Single Frame does so without the use of turntables or loads of computer equipment. Never sounding strained or interfering, Wetheads Come Running shows this is a release that somehow has everything in just the right place.

Most of the tracks on Wetheads Come Running are separated by small snippets of dialogue or phone operators. To fully describe each song would be a large task to take on. Due to the fact that they are all somewhat different, I’ll just attempt to pick some of the best. The first track, “Floral Design In A Straight Line,” leads off with playful keyboards that are strangely reminiscent of the music that is played while turning the handle on a jack-in-the-box. It’s then taken into an aggressive vocal and bass number, only to be brought right back to the beginning. “$7 Haircut” pushes onward with hammering keyboards that are as fuzzed out as one could imagine. Personally, I think the song is better than anything The Faint or Trans Am has ever released. Two tracks that seem to be the highlights are “Mod Style ‘68” and “Comm. Jet (Creepykid Remix).” The latter sounding as if it’s the long lost brother of a Broken Social Scene song. With the catchiest rhythm and clever lyrics, it proves to be one of the best songs of the year. 

One thing that might burden Wetheads Come Running is that many will compare them to other bands that they’ve loved in the past, leading them to dismiss the album as derivative or unimaginative. However, nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve heard all the albums this could be compared to, and believe it or not, Single Frame actually does a lot better job than the bulk of those artists in making an entire album that is both evocative and progressive. The fact that these young men formed out of necessity proves that some things work out for the better. If Wetheads Come Running is just a small taste of what’s to come of this young, talented new band, I shall sit patiently and wait for the next album.

1. Floral Design In A Straight Line
2. $7 Haircut
3. Rare Paintings
4. Post Daydream Forecast Endeavor
5. In the Ground
6. Mod Style "68
7. Miracle Ear
8. The Slip
9. I've Been to a Party at This House
10. Comm. Jet (Creepykid Remix)
11. Operadora 2 + 1
12. Eavesdropper Goes Solo
13. Skintone
14. 3 Bloodless Shadows
15. Skintone, Pt. 2
16. Spacedust and Handcuffs
17. Taxidermy Heads
18. New Car Smell
19. Tired of Waking Up
20. Let's Techno for Christmas