(Bank Robber Music, 2015)
Ever get the feeling you’re not spending your time as diligently as you should? After hearing the new album from brunch rock band Wolford Brimley, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve been wasting my life. See, these guys met this morning at brunch, decided to start a band, wrote a bunch of songs, recorded and released an album, and picked up a licensing deal with Bank Robber Music before dinner time. And I’m lucky if I can muster a morning jog.
Now you know why I’ve coined the term “brunch rock.” (It’s mine! Copyright! I call it!)
The story goes that after brunch, the band quickly bought tickets to Turks and Caicos for the recording session, which would begin around lunch time. They figured they’d already eaten, so they were good for a while. Split Single’s Jason Narducy came on board for session work after immediately hearing an a capella demo of “Taco Wedneday.” “I just knew I wanted to be on that shit, you guys,” he fawned. They even got famed producer John Agnello to record and mix it from 1:30 to 2:30 in the afternoon. “Best time I’ve ever had,” Agnello joyfully mumbled through mouthfuls of spaghetti. “I haven’t done a record this good this fast, ever. Period. Can you pass the garlic breadsticks?”
Tom Beaujour mixed it, and the self-titled album was done. They found a stash of minidiscs in the storage room at the island studio, so they decided to make it an exclusive format release. Genius move, if you ask me.
I spoke to bass player Thurston Howl III over Skype, and he looked tired. He had had a busy day so far I’ll give him that. But it seemed odd that the band would allow the bass player to be the face of Wolford Brimley – nobody does that. I asked him where everybody else was, and he said he’d only discuss himself publicly, and that the rest of the band wanted to remain anonymous.
“It’s been a whirlwind day. After brunch, we jammed. After jamming, we made some calls. We got on the plane, which went right to the studio. The gear was already set up – great local crew here. We got to work, and we worked fast. Every time we wanted a break, Agnello kept yelling ‘Go, go, go, go, go! I’m RECORDING!’ We thought he was on something.”
I asked Howl if they’d planned a wider electronic release, on Bandcamp or something. “Bandcamp is for posers and limited-run experimental tape labels. This is minidisc only, and if you don’t like that, you can stick it.” When I asked him if the minidisc would be accompanied by a download card, since not a lot of people have minidisc players anymore, he shouted “This interview’s over! Smoke bomb!,” and threw an imaginary smoke bomb on the floor before hanging up.
That inventive and enterprising spirit is felt throughout the album, especially on highlights “Four Stars” and “Dog Faced Boy,” which highlight the virtuosic playing and emotional lyrics not often present in a band that’s been together for three hours. But it’s already enough to get Vice Records interested. Do I detect a world tour in the near future? Till then, cop this minidisc!
RIYL: Fleetwood Mac, The Stone Roses, Camper Van Beethoven, Lungfish, Telekinesis