by Dan Gibson
Four songs today, and (at least) three tomorrow in our series of recommendations from our music writers, featuring tracks by Sleep, a cover of Rebecca Black's viral hit, the Four Flops, and Teddybears.
Keesh, has it really been 20 years since the mighty band Sleep, led by Matt Pike (High on Fire), debuted with Vol. 1, a 45-minute trip into the deepest, darkest recesses of resin-coated doom metal? It has, and re-introducing myself to this record sans bong feels a bit strange, but only for a moment. After the sound of a multitude of monks chanting their hypnotic Oms, opening track "Stillborn" still packs a lumbering wallop, making me unconsciously reach for a non-existent water pipe on the coffee table. Sure, my wife thinks I'm dying, but actually I feel reborn, ready to fire up more post-Sabbath riffs and stoned-Brontosaurus rhythms. No wonder Sleep reformed and are headlining next year's Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands. OOOOOOHHHHHHMMMMMM!
Richard Cheese, "Friday"
The only possible cover act that could salvage the atrocity that is Rebecca Black's "Friday," Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine have been delivering note-perfect lounge lizard cover versions of classic hits from all eras since the late '90s and show no signs of slowing down. After all, there is a rather unlimited supply of trash culture for Cheese to spelunk. Here's hoping he keeps at it, turning shit into easy-listening chuckles for decades to come.
Four Flops, "Trick or Treat"
As we approach the holiday par excellence for stunted adulthood, here is an overlong, strangely entrancing doo-wop ditty to set the mood. The treats? This song bears a striking and charming resemblance to the Alley Cats’ “Puddin N’ Tain (Ask Me Again, I’ll Tell You the Same),” sans Phil Spector’s masterful production. Perhaps the Four Flops’ greatest moment, however, need no studio gimmickry; when the group’s basso describes the narrator’s paramour, it’s downright sublime: “She looked just like Boris Karlo-o-off.” The trick? This tune is actually the work of a contemporary German a capella group now called the Fabulous Flops.
Teddybears featuring B.o.B., "Get Mama A House"
I have to thank the mystical Pandora algorithm for this one—- somehow lots of Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie and the Strokes lead to Teddybears, from Sweden, who have been around for over a decade and yet I had never heard of them until now. So anyway, it's pretty standard electronic pop, with a twist of goofiness.