Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Dad Is Dead - The Taller You Are, The Shorter You Get

Label: Homestead
Year: 1989

Hot off the request line, here's some My Dad Is Dead!
This happens to be the only My Dad Is Dead record (cassette, actually) ever owned, and it was purchased as an error on my part. You see, On occasion, when the moon was right, and the tide was out, I could pick up the weak radio signal from a small college in Greensboro, North Carolina, about 30 miles from where I lived (big ups to the Camel City!). That radio station turned me on to a lot of great music back when I was hard pressed to venture too far from anything not released on either Revelation Records or SST. The college rock of the late 80's and early 90's was an especially ripe time, and luckily I managed to get into enough of it to fend off complete hardcore tunnel vision (not to be confused with the song "Tunnel Vision" by Line Drive...again...big ups to the Camel City!) and develop some appreciation for music not comprised solely of barre chords.
Back to My Dad Is Dead.
One evening they played some kinda gnarly, distorted, punkish guitar rock jam which caught my attention enough to listen to the next 27 songs before the DJ robotically rattled off the previously played tunes. I tried to do the backward math, and when he announced "My Dad Is Dead", I thought that for sure that would have been the band responsible for what I had just heard. Fast forward to my next trip to the record store (most likely either Record Exchange off Stratford Road, or more embarrassingly, Camelot Music in Hanes Mall) and I zero in on the one My Dad Is Dead tape they had. This one. And take it home to be completely crestfallen. My Dad Is Dead do not play "gnarly, distorted, punkish guitar rock", no, they play "dour, jangly, Joy Division-informed, indie rock (prior to the term indie rock being coined mind you)". I was bummed.
But guess what? I never did figure out who played that mystery song that had piqued my interest way back when, and My Dad Is Dead aged much better than I would have expected. This record has elements of The Fall, Joy Division, Angst, and even the old REM sound. It's a solid album that takes you back to a simpler time in music when you maybe had to work a little harder to find something new, and you had to take chances on an album based on some one's opinion, or the cover art, or the band name, or even a snippet of something you had mis-identified on a college radio station.


bdh2 said...

Ah, the joys of waiting on the wind to blow right to pick up college radio. Same thing happened to me trying to pick up ECU's station when I was in high school.

Jessica said...

I am having Winston flashbacks. Must dig out Camel City Bomb Squad 7" (yeah...I hung onto that)

Designed by mln3 designs & etc.