Vertical Scratchers – These Plains [mp3]

by Woody on November 19, 2013


Merge has had a pretty good 2013 with releases from Mount Moriah, Saint Rich, Superchunk and The Love Language to name a few. Well, it looks like they are gearing up for a banner 2014 as well. Vertical Scratchers will release Daughter of Everything, their debut album, on February 25, 2014. Here’s what Merge has to say:

Vertical Scratchers is John Schmersal (ex-Brainiac/Enon, live Caribou, and Crooks on Tape) and Christian Beaulieu (ex-Triclops!/Anywhere).

Vertical Scratchers formed in Los Angeles in 2012. John and Christian met at a Thanksgiving party, began hanging out, and then just decided to be a band together. John says, “I love Christian’s drumming because he approaches it like a songwriter, as he is one in his own right. There aren’t really drum fills—more like rhythmic accents that punctuate what is happening at that point in the song itself.”

One of the most persistent elements you will hear throughout the record is the percussive nature in which the guitars were played and recorded. Guitar playing is vertical scratching, and in this band, the guitar strums are almost louder than the amps. John explains, “Part of the aesthetic we were establishing when writing Vertical Scratchers songs was to maintain a sense of urgency and raw energy without relying on volume and distortion. I wanted the guitars to sound light and jangly, and most songs were purposefully sung in a soft falsetto.”

Most Vertical Scratchers songs clock in under the two-minute mark but often go in twice as many directions as your average-length song. Pop deception. Think the Kinks with a Buzzcocks brevity.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Vertical Scratchers are here.

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