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CE Schneider Topical & The Lentils – Four Different Hells

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Here, deep into New England’s winter I have been totally bowled over by a 7″ that was made by some New England ex-pats, and which was released by a Belgian label. FOUR DIFFERENT HELLS just came out on Brussels’ SANTE LOISIRS. It’s two tracks each from THE LENTILS and CE SCHNEIDER TOPICAL

THE LENTILS (Luke Csehak) now calls Los Angeles home after a lengthy stint in Brattleboro, VT. CE SCHNEIDER (Zach Phillips & Christina Schneider) is down in New York City (Phillips also had a lengthy stint in VT). Everyone is back together on this one though, and while there’s no direct indication I do believe I hear all three players popping up throughout. I thus surmise that the 4 tracks were recorded in a single session, with all three present.

The results are slight at 4 tracks (1 written by Schneider, 2 by Csehak, and 1 by Phillips), but moving. This is some seriously spiked pop, some underground heroics, and some of the best tunes I’ve yet heard coming from these two groups that I already have deep respect for.

The CE SCHNEIDER TOPICAL tunes really make me roll around on the floor in a tizzy. “Party At The Tower”, Schneider’s song contribution, reeks in the best way possible of YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS, ethereal female vocals dancing atop bubbling bass, all of it giving way to a brief ENO bridge of some kind. Watch the guitar shimmer. Perfect skewed indie pop/ post-punk like they did in England in the early 80s. “Four Different Hells”, the track born of Phillips’ pen, brings over and rides the bass that we met on “Party At The Tower” pushing it slightly further into the background. An organ joins the fray. The composition here is fairly recognizable as a Zach Phillips joint, and he does not disappoint, while Christina Schneider delivers another stellar vocal performance. Stuck in my damn head.

Lest we forget, THE LENTILS are also at this party. “Dreamskills” is the standout of their two tracks, delivering that janky LENTILS folk-pop that we know well here at the Hassle. Guitars collide to make a pop dream! Well timed for the passing of our universal rock friend MR. BOWIE, the real grabber for me on this track is the shambolic glam riff that kicks the track off and reappears throughout. More great guitar playing

There was a time when Belgium-only issued 7″s by one’s fav bands would and could only be heard by the obsessed, or (allowing 20 years to pass) the owners of box sets. Those days are dead n’ buried (sorry record nerds…not)! Enjoy!

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