27 May 2007

New Issue at Wireless Bollinger

The Blow
Poor Aim: Love Songs

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and I'm pretty sure The Blow's Khaela Maricich is from another galaxy (or at least Jupiter). Maricich first made a name for herself as a solo performer and member of Phil Elvrum's lo-fi masterwork The Microphones, but it’s with The Blow (her partnership with laptop guru and YACHT idea man Jona Bechtolt) that she has forged her role as a staple figure of indie female notoriety. Garnering their share of attention as a result of 2006's Paper Television, many were unaware of the spitfire heroine with seemingly unprecedented audacity that fronted The Blow. But it was on the band’s debut, limited edition, EP Poor Aim: Love Songs (originally released in 2004), that Maricich honed her electric persona by remaining so earnestly revealing that it became impossible not to commiserate when she was ailing or swagger when riding high. I've never met a girl like her, but through the record, she becomes an intimate companion. Gender aside, she is both candid and relatable for any victim of human interaction who might cringe at their social missteps or awkward blunders. Bold in her occasional inelegance and backed by Bechtolt's crafty electronic textures, the result is a balanced taste of uplifting, frisky numbers that lyrically reflect a sometimes clumsy personal discourse.

Spiced up for a K records re-issue, Poor Aim: Love Songs now contains a ‘remix’ section, including seven alternate versions on top of the six track, 17-minute burst and bustle of the original. Mostly minor embellishments, the subsequent re-imagining of the natural tracks do provide playful, if not entertaining, interpretations. Constructed by mostly Washington-based artists, friends and tour-mates, the remix portion is a friendly affair, as even Jonah and Khaela get in on the action, each redoing a track on their own. The YACHT remix of 'Hock It' conjures a rubber-band orchestra of loose drums, and loops the title line to create a recognisably different chorus from the blurty synths in the song's sexed-up verses. Successfully clubbed up, vocoder-ed vocal loops are a reoccurring theme on the album's second half, with each of the EP's stand out tracks receiving a similar chopped, spliced and screwed treatment. ...Read the rest.

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