7 and 7 Is

The hip police have informed me that The Angels (formerly Charlie's Angels) are needed to protect the Palace, but I'm thinking much bigger guns are warranted. While "Biographer" twinkles a little Galaxie 500, its A-side partner, "Fitted for the Kids," makes it plain that "lo-fi" is often a synonym for "dem-os." And what's that noise on the recording besides tambourines and hiss? Cicadas? The
B-side of this clear-vinyl 45 on At a Glance Records, "This-n-That," is more sleepy dross from this local band; barely more than a strum and some voices in the background. Sounding just as half-baked is "Symphony of Treble" b/w "Kasuality" (Touch & Go) from New York's Blonde Redhead. Toko Yasuda's high whine, needling guitars, and a bottom-heavy, syncopated drum beat make the B-side slightly more interesting, but the overall effect is, again, one of studio timekillers. One wishes the vocals weren't quite as buried on The Hamicks' fun, edgy, red-vinyl single "The Hamicks Go Dot to Dot" (Big Jerk Records), because Bob Taylor's urgent, Iggy-goes-Joe-Jackson vocals on the B-side, "Dot to Dot," are so frantic. Still, this doesn't keep the skinny tieisms of "X-Ray Eyes" from dulling the herky-jerk spasms of this unsteady Austin quintet. The locals in Mineral, who've recently had their Crank debut picked up for distribution by Epitaph, are far more controlled in their minor-chord-to-major-guitar-explosion sound judging from their Renaissance painting that doubles as a single, "February (March version)" b/w "M.D." (Caulfield Records). That, however, doesn't make the vocals sound any more on key nor the instruments any better tuned. You say the time is right for a Palace revolution? I say most of these grunts ain't ready for battle. -- Raoul Hernandez

At a Glance: PO Box 12363, Austin, TX 78711; Touch & Go: PO Box 25520, Chicago, IL 60625; Big Jerk: 1411 Norwalk Ln., #201, Austin, TX 78703; Caulfield: PO Box 84323, Lincoln, NE 68501
"7 & 7 Is" reviews all local and national singles. Send to: "7 & 7 Is," The Austin Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765

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