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Jake Tobin — Third and Fourth Thoughts


You’ve heard me say o’er and o’er, rock music has got to be dropping some really heavy-duty dance moves out on the floor in 2015 to get these feet moving. And while I’m kind of feeling too self-conscious to actually get out on the floor (add 10 beers, different story), I think you get what I’m saying. Maybe?

Well. Either way, I will tell you that the feet of my mind are moving to the sounds of JAKE TOBIN. It’s hard to know what to say about this guy. He’s in a ZAPPA experimental-pop realm minus the stepping-over-the-line in several ways, and with a decidedly lower production value more in tune with today’s absurdo-songsmiths of the underground. A son of WEEN, with some JIB KIDDER or old OF MONTREAL thrown in. THIRD AND FOURTH THOUGHTS has just recently arrived via Tobin, and it is likely an intended third and fourth recording set smooshed into one and thus becoming Tobin’s third release. (Two others precede this one over at his Bandcamp.)

This record is a rather nonstop splishing and splashing of rock ’n’ roll conceits flattened and wrapped up in tinfoil. Some are thrown in the microwave, other are left on the counter. Some are a couple minutes, others are a few seconds long. It is a wild and relentless ride of video-gamey synths, multitracked vocals, and bouncy weird rhythms that bend in every direction as if made of rubber. Guitar playing and woodwind playing are in particular really interesting throughout. “New In Town” is the noisy end of the 16 tunes present here. At times this captures and updates a somewhat music-schooled version of DESPERATE BICYCLES or the RAINCOATS. That’s hott. “Roommates” is a warped power-pop number that bleeds, unspools, and dies before its 49 seconds are up. Other song titles are “Little Red Corvette” and “9 Inch Nails Cover.”

This is the kind of music that I can be friends with. That I would like to visit with. Exciting twisting-and-turning alternate-reality pop that I can imagine myself living in a world of. Recorded in Tallahassee, FL; Columbia, SC; Brooklyn, NY; and Gainesville, FL while Tobin moved around. Seems like Tobin brought his magic all over the East Coast. An East Coast underground-pop spectacle this guy. Fantastic.

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