Debt Sounds by The Bordellos is finally out, and it lives up to the expectations I had for it -- an excellent 17 song album. Over the past few years for me, the prolific Bordellos have grown from "oh that's interesting, outsidery stuff" to "this is really important," to "this is the most important underground band I'm listening to." This album seals the deal in that regard.
These songs were recorded several years ago, and never released until now, I believe, except for a few put out on the Internet on a Debt Sounds sampler a few months back. They were laid down with some interesting rules in play. This is from their Bandcamp page:
1. All recorded on old tape 4 track, using microphones and recording equipment bought from pound shops and cash convertors for under £5.
2. All tracks recorded on 4 tracks only no overdubs
3. All vocal tracks would be first take only even if disaster struck whilst recording ,so a lot of these songs have only ever been sang once.
4. All songs recorded would have been written that week . so the rest of the band would never have heard them before recording.
5. every song started would be completed that night so no going back.
The cheap analog recording equipment, the "one and done" and immediate ethos of the writing and recording process, and the natural talent of the musicians involved makes Debt Sounds burn with a lo-fi energy. It's dark, weird, and cynical, but still fun, weird, and honest -- and pop, too -- an outsider version of pop, but that's the best kind, right?
Recorded every Friday night over a ten week period during a turbulent time for the Bordellos, the result was an album that has an energy and sound that is timeless in regard to post-punk - it could've been recorded in 1983, or 1993, or 2003, or yesterday.
I've been learning about stock market lingo and the stock market wonks would say, 'I'm long on this album,' meaning I'm investing in it long-term. I'm long on the Bordellos too, which sounds sorta kinky but hey, it's the '90s and I'm down to party. O wait, it's 2018. Am I timeless or just stuck in the past?
You can download Debt Sounds for free and/or pay what thou wilt on Bandcamp, or order the CD, which is what I did. It comes with artwork by Marie Reynolds of Small Bear Records, the label what put out the CD, and with an essay by Brian Bordello detailing the creation of the album.