Monday, March 14, 2011

Transistor Sister - Shotgun Jimmie

Transistor Sister

Shotgun Jimmie
You’ve Changed Records.

SCQ Rating: 77%

By the time ‘Suzy’ started, the second track off of Shotgun Jimmie’s new LP, I was already Google-mapping Riverport, Nova Scotia, if only to try and catch a glimpse of Confidence Lodge – a recording studio that has spawned two excellent East Coast records in as many months. First, it became the namesake of Jon McKiel’s recent (not to mention great) EP and, with Transistor Sister, the ‘Lodge has done it again. There’s something about the structure’s unadorned beige-ness, which crawls up a casual four stories and overlooks a watery cove, that reasserts all of the summery, backwoods vibes complimented in the full-length’s jams. Or as Shotgun Jimmie puts it on ‘Stereo and the Stove’: “like climbing out of the attic, into the first real day of spring”. Yep, just like that.

Most of the LP’s sixteen tracks advocate Jimmie’s emphasis on good times, lining up breezy strummers (‘The Haze’), melodic rockers (‘King Of Kreuzberg’) and the odd segue that deserves closer attention (‘Paper Planes’). It almost goes without saying that the fractured but upbeat flow of Transistor Sister should appeal to any Pavement fan - I presume it was made by one - with the depth of Jimmie's storytelling conveyed through the weaving of deadpan humour and frazzled honesty. The sentiments communicated on ‘Bar’s Closed’ are appropriately half-drunken but, in his plainspoken way, still evocative of a post-bar utopia. Same goes for the Cars’ styled ‘Suzy’ and its high-school nostalgia, touching and laughable all at once.

His delivery and comedic streak may call to mind Stephen Malkmus but, like Transistor Sister’s lean thirty-minute runtime, Shotgun Jimmie eschews both pretension and abstract clutter. Unless, of course, you find a soundtrack for relaxing summer days and beer drinking too dimwitted; in which case, leave this record to the majority of us.

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