Label Year is a feature in which I purchase all of the releases of a given record label for an entire calendar year and post on each one. 2011 will be devoted to Arts & Crafts out of Toronto. For more info, check out the introduction.
- Artist: Zeus
- Title: "Permanent Scar" / "The Darkness"
- Format: 7" Record
- Release Date: 04/12/2011
- Catalog Number: ACX063
Zeus is a four piece rock band that often serves as the backing band to A&C mainstay Jason Collett. More significantly, they are their own entity with their own great music. Last December, they launched a series of double A-side 7-inch records with the release of "Hot Under the Collar" & "Aeroplane." The intent seems to be to release two quality songs that do not appear on any other of the band's recorded releases whenever the mood strikes; they are not promotional releases for an existing album. In time for Record Store Day, Zeus put out the second volume of the series, a vinyl featuring "Permanent Scar" and "The Darkness."
"Permanent Scar" is the more upbeat and energetic of the two. It gets things started with gusto, though being a double A-side, there is no reason you can't play this song second. It has a bouncy, vintage feel, particularly with the harmonies of the (pre-?) chorus and the organ. It kind of reminds me of the Super Furry Animals, but whatever the case, it is definitely a strong pop tune you'll want to spin again and again.
"The Darkness" strips things down to primarily an acoustic guitar and vocal, though there is a little bit of texture beyond that. It also slows things down. To me, pulling off closely associated yet nearly opposite songs in equally satisfying manner signals the band's versatility. The beauty of the 7-inch is that it is not hard to listen to both quickly, in any order you wish, but you can also just as easily play one and then listen to the other another time when the mood strikes.
While I did receive a 7" record for "Black Water," when buying Creep On Creepin' On, this is my first purely vinyl purchase from Arts & Crafts so far. I admit to being a neophyte when it comes to vinyl, much more so than my fellow digsters Dave and Kyle, but I can see myself getting into these 7" records. Sure, I have a few full LPs and will get more, but there is a heightened appeal to these little records for me. As much as I don't want to say it's easier for my seemingly rapidly deteriorating attention span, I have to think that's at least partially true. Primarily, though, it's because it feels a little more collectible. Don't get me wrong, LPs are absolutely a collectible item and often have their own particularities, such as special colors. What I'm getting at is that a release like this is not found in any other physical form when it comes to the music itself, whereas an LP is often also on CD. Whatever the size, the aesthetics and visual/tactile/aural experiences of the record and packaging are so much cooler than mp3s, that's for sure.
Yes, I feel like I'll pay more attention to vinyl 7" releases after this. What do you all think? What format of vinyl gets you the most excited? I welcome any thoughts on vinyl, formats, nuances, record stores, websites, etc.
And I will also pay more attention to Zeus. You can purchase the record here.
Next up: Chilly Gonzales – The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales (digital album)
Previously on Label Year:
- Timber Timbre Creep On Creepin' On (+ "Black Water" / "Ferriswheel")
- Ra Ra Riot "Too Dramatic"
- Memphis Here Comes A City
- Chilly Gonzales "You Can Dance"
- Chikita Violenta Tre3s
- Introduction (link at the top of the page)