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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Pants Yell!
Our Horse Calls (Cassette Tape)

To tape or not to tape? Though that may not be the burning question facing many bands nowadays, the Shmat is glad that Pants Yell! decided to get their creative output down on tape. Their music, it just FEELS like it fits best on tape sometimes. Pants Yell! (the exclamation point is optionally silently pronounced) create completely adorable mini pop songs encased in fuzz 'n buzz and suffused with that googly eyed glow that only homemade music can pull off. The overall presentation is sometimes shabby but always really personable. Members Andrew, Carly and Sterling throw their hearts and quite everything else into their recordings, including tinkly drum machines, keyboard and organ growls and swells, intermittent weird noises, and tweeish vocals. The Shmat would say the overall feel is something similar to some of the Popgun Recordings bands that he knows. There is an occasional preference for quieter, folky things as opposed to the usual full on hoppy indie pop. The Shmat digs the songs like "The Gate's Open, We're Going In" that travel down this avenue.

Some of the similarities the Shmat heard on the tape were to Nothing Painted Blue, Olivia Tremor Control, Reclinerland, GBV ... all good stuff. As the opening waltz track instrumental "Theme" starts things off, it's like you've arrived at a carnival of sound. The acoustic guitar strumming sounds a bit Sentridoh-ish especially on songs like "Mic Check" and "Rou Leed Indeed". Funky song titles include "Electroclash Is The Noose Around My Neck" and "Sarah vs. Shinkansen", the latter referring to the late indie label and its current archiver. One of the Shmat's favorite songs was the swingy "Onward, Sailboat" with its clumpy handclaps and sea shanty monotonic drawl.

If you are bored by home produced recordings you won't like this tape. But then, if you are, you probably shouldn't be reading any of the Shmat's reviews to start with! This is a nice little tape. Note also that the members of Monotones' The Stoves (Ryan Doyle and Kevin Huelbig Jr.) contribute vocals on two tracks on this tape. Pants Yell! should be releasing a CD-R on Asaurus in a little while. Until then: Be Young. Have Fun!

- review by SHMAT (1.9.04)        

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