Tall Dwarfs Weeville on LP
The influence of lo-fi pioneers Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate and their legendary New Zealand band Tall Dwarfs' brand of fractured pop has been felt far and wide in the American independent music community for many years. Their lengthy list of fans include Pavement, Yo La Tengo, and Neutral Milk Hotel. As the opening liner notes of their 1990 masterpiece proclaim, Weeville is, "the first straightforward LP by Tall Dwarfs - uh...in terms of having the same number of tracks on each side - both of which play at the same speed and which ain't a compilation." Nonetheless, Weeville is filled with the Tall Dwarfs' eclectic mix of homespun psychedelia, densely textured pop songs and a wallop of hard nosed punk.
Now, re-issued again on LP, Weeville is wired with hypnotic tunes, weird and wonderful instruments and brilliant songwriting. Whether that be the raw spookiness and two guitar harmony of "Breath" and "Crawl" or the oddly compelling "Skin Of My Teeth" and "Bodies" all brushed with a scent of the macabre. Along with a 20 page booklet featuring the duo's individual art and design, Weeville is a fantasy land built on tape loops, feedback and distortion. It's pop music just how they like it.
"We would listen to the Tall Dwarfs [legendary N.Z. Flying Nun band] and we'd think, 'Gosh, these guys are recording stuff on four-track, it sounds totally hi-fi.' We'd listen to The Beatles and The Beach Boys and think, 'These guys recorded this on four-track, it sounds totally hi-fi.' We said to ourselves, 'We have a fourtrack, it doesn't sound so hi-fi, but it's something to shoot for.' So we decided that these recordings that we were making weren't just us fucking around, they were albums." - from a 1998 interview with Robert Schneider of The Apples (in Stereo) / producer Neutral Milk Hotel & The Olivia Tremor Control