Comanechi - One Pervert Knows Another
Sound quality wise, this EP is quite possibly the worst sounding EP ever released. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, the beauty of Comanechi shines through like the sun on a cloudy day. There's only the two of them and it was recorded in Akiko's (Drums/Vocals) bedroom and, without her and Simon Petrovitch (guitar) being able to hear each other properly. It's the very definition of lo-fi and if you're able to see past this limitation (is it a limitation? No, not really, it isn't) then there's much to enjoy in these six tracks. Much of the enjoyment comes from Akikos vocals - desperate and passionate and also, well, she sounds a little crazy to be blunt. There she is, hidden behind the white noise mix, singing about all sorts of things in a high pitched, yelp. She's superb; firing off little haiku-like lines like bullets. Simon Petrovitch guitar work is basic, to say the least, but effective. Building the frameworks of the songs out of scuzzy two-finger power chords; it's powerful and noisy, and not in a 'volume' sense either, it's more that the guitar sounds distorted to the point where it no longer sounds like a guitar - just slowly played bursts of noise.
My Favorite Shoes kicks the thing off with some heavy, heavy riffing and is something of a classic in the making. It's just Akiko chanting about how she wears her favorite shoes because she knows you like them. That's pretty much it. It's possible to read much into the simple message of the song, but it's probably best not to. Naked continues the shoe theme as it's about a naked person - "Hey, hey, you have no shoes." Is it possible there's a slight obsession with shoes here? Akiko wants to be naked and washing her body with a toothbrush because cleaning can only be unhealthy. It's possible that these lyrics have been misunderstood/misheard, but given the nature of the band it's unlikely. Lucky Cane is notable for Simon Petrovitch guitar work, in that it sounds like whatever cheap equipment was used was pushed to within millimeters of it's poor, short life. A Hole is a nice, almost funky ditty about a man standing in a hole or something. It's crazy, but quite beautiful in it's simplicity. On N On is a slower, dreamy song that features some nice little guitar breaks that try to shatter the mud of the mix but fail. Rude finishes the whole thing of and it sounds like Comanechi are attempting a stab at punk; it doesn't really work quite as well as the others, but still, five out of six is more than most bands can manage.
This EP is a rough diamond of rare quality. See past the limitations (It was recorded in a bedroom, for fucks sake) and concentrate on the stresses and fault lines in the psyche that drive the songs and you will be much rewarded for your efforts - A hugely impressive debut EP, and one that bodes extremely well for the future. Limited to 200, and you can get it from here. And to top it all, it's got the best title for many a year.
They're a great live band as well, see the review here.
Photograph taken by Phil Hope Reproduced with kind permission.