Single Frame - Wetheads Come Running (2002)
Cover Front Album
Artist/Composer Single Frame
Length 39:58
Format mp3
Genre Rock
Index 3966
Track List
01 Floral Design in a Straight Line 02:11
02 $7 Haircut 02:16
03 Rare Paintings 00:11
04 Post Daydream Forecast Endeavor 02:19
05 In the Ground 00:12
06 Mod Style ' 68 01:47
07 Miracle Ear 00:16
08 The Slip 02:39
09 I've Been to a Party at This House 02:13
10 Comm. Jet (Creepykid Remix) 03:52
11 Operadora 2+1 00:23
12 Eavesdropper Goes Solo 04:02
13 Skintone 00:46
14 3 Bloodless Shadows 01:22
15 Skintone, Pt. 2 00:22
16 Spacedust and Handcuffs 04:40
17 Taxidermy Heads 01:10
18 New Car Smell 04:45
19 Tired of Waking Up 01:05
20 Let's Techno for Christmas 03:27
Purchase Date 11/3/2004
Store Soulseek
kbps 128
Spars DDD
Rare No
Sound Stereo
My mother knotted her ovarian tubes when I was five years old, barring any chance I might have at one day becoming a juvenile hipster-prodigy. See, every "cool" person I ever knew during my formative years was partially subsidized by their siblings: the younger sibling strove toward trendiness to act as a role model to the following generation, while the older sibling had the less proactive role of wisely plundering the influences behind the younger kids' record collections and recommending similar-- and often better-- bands.

Being an only child, though, I had to wait until I was well into my teens to start uncovering music that got my motor purring, and even then it felt like an arduously slow and expensive habit to maintain. Added to this late-to-the-game-shame was the deplorable fact that most of the bands I discovered for myself had broken up by the time I got around to hearing them, shattering my hopes of ever experiencing the full spectrum of their music in a live setting. Yep, it's too late for me, but us Pitchforkers would like to think we're preventing this from happening to other kids out there.

So let me just say that Wetheads Come Running is momentous. Absorbing a large index of musical inspirations, Austin, Texas-based newcomers Single Frame blaze through 20 songs in a scant 37 minutes, their countless influences congealing and materializing as short, clipped pop songs that stick around only as long as their hooks can remain fresh. This thing is packed with potential summer college radio hits-- "Comm. Jet (Creepykid Remix)" is chief among them, with its pronounced and cooing vocals blending Modest Mouse-style vocal timing with a bargain-basement synth and a fistpumping, anthemic chorus replete with nonsense lyrics so passionate they nearly convince you they mean something.

"Eavesdropper Goes Solo" slows down the tempo for a quiet march that, augmented by clacky, reverbed percussion, continually builds to fake-out climaxes before dropping back down to its impossibly catchy chorus, relating to the angst-ridden introvert with such lines as, "The fact of the matter is/ I'm always behind/ The fact is/ I'm always out of place/ In my own skin/ With my own friends." Though certainly not as poignant as Sly & The Family Stone's "Skin I'm In", Single Frame make their point just as sincerely, and with a melody no less vital.

Meanwhile, "Mod Style '68"-- quite probably doomed to be known as "the Fugazi song"-- has the group saluting D.C. with a joyous, geek-hardcore riot over a loping beat with harsh and rapid vocal delivery. Above the sing-song chorus, two voices call-and-respond in what sounds like a guest spot from Ian and Guy themselves, before the near-bubblegum refrain is roped in by the harder edge of the guitars and synthesizers.

Other tracks borrow heavily from the aftermath of the Electronic Poem, resulting in a large amount of found sound constituents, established mainly in interludes such as "Rare Paintings", "In the Ground" (which electronically modulates a female voice to an operatic effect), and to some extent on "Post Daydream Forecast Endeavor", one of Wetheads' clear standouts. One of the album's only tracks to build brief interludes into the song itself, "Post Daydream Forecast Endeavor" works primarily because the band has a good sense of balance: the accompaniment co-opts elements of the post-punk tradition and incorporates strongly syncopated swing-percussion that's cut only intermittently by a keyboard drone and a buzzsaw guitar-- and it's all an elaborate accent for a hook so perfectly simple you might wonder how it's escaped 50 years of pop songs without having ever been used.

Better still: on top of all this early achievement, Single Frame possess that one characteristic so rare amongst the all-too-common indie sophomore slumps: even greater potential. That the trio is already this attuned to one another's musical instincts is pretty impressive, but the slightly undercooked sound of a couple of these tracks ("I've Been to a Party at This House", "3 Bloodless Shadows") give the impression that, with another year or two under their belts, they could easily develop into one of indie music's frontrunners.

With this in mind, it's imperative that this band's music be brought to anyone and everyone that has an ear for it-- which is why I wholeheartedly suggest that, during your next beer-and-cigarette trip to the local secondary school (pervert), you bring a copy of Wetheads not just for your kinsfolk, but for the chubby antisocial kid, too. Maybe that person won't need something like Cobain's drugged rants about Flipper, The Raincoats, and The Vaselines ten years after the fact to develop his or her own musical aesthete.

-Andrew Bryant, May 28th, 2003