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COMPRA Y VENTA – PRETENDER

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Compra Y Venta is the current musical endeavor of former Nude Black Glass guitarist David Tourtellotte. The Los Angeles-via-Massachusetts project ditches the indie prog of Nude Black Glass, instead employing a lightly psychedelic indie rock sound. While lightly psychedelic rock has become and increasingly popular sound over the last decade and as a consequence has, for the most part, become a stale sound, Compra Y Venta derives it strength through a sense of deja vu. In general the ten tracks of Pretender each sound familiar, yet on closer inspection they become more difficult to pin down to more specific influences. The music feels most grounded in ‘90s alternative rock and even early ‘00s indie rock, but again this becomes a more general atmosphere than direct influence. The vocals sound almost like a lo-fi Spoon at times, but sounds just off, and some of the guitar grooves approach the jazz fusion of Medeski Martin & Wood, but not quite. Other guitar licks could be from a John Frusciante track, yet don’t immediately call to mind any specific one. The production on the album is similar to that of Sebadoh’s killer Oven Is My Friend EP – especially on tracks like “Burning Building” and “Without A Thing” – and, as a consequence, that might make Compra Y Venta’s closest sonic peer Sebadoh. Regardless, at its core, Pretender has some great tracks, including the album’s stellar closer, “Hole Puncher.” The tape, after many months and difficulties at various plants, is now available on Western Mass’s great up-and-coming Gray Cake Tapes.

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