I think Spotify has recommended Two Dollar Guitar for me because Steve Shelley, drummer from Sonic Youth, is their drummer. I’m not 100% sure how their recommendation algorithms work, but it has previously recommended another act to me, Spectre Folk, which also features Steve Shelley. Of course it could be due to the genre too. Two Dollar Guitar are a lo-fi Indie Rock band with a melancholic, poetic vibe. Very much my cup of tea.
Weak Beats And Lame-Ass Rhymes has a gloomy, faded glamour to it. Country -Rock singer-songwriter vibes juxtaposed with urban, New York decay. Nels Cline, ambient experimental guitar guru & Wilco member, guests on opening track, Solitaire. Other tracks, like Kilroy, have an upbeat bounciness to them, emanating from the superb rhythm section consisting of the aforementioned Steve Shelley & ex-Cell bassist David Motamed. Singer Tim Foljhan’s romantically depressed drawl over these bouncy, upbeat rhythms calls to mind something like People by Silver Jews. In fact the Silver Jews comparisons are quite apt for much of the album. Especially the more melancholic, Country-tinged tracks.
Guest female vocalists Janet Wygal, Christina Rosenvinge & Carla Bozulich add a sweeter, softer atmosphere which takes the edge off of the existential angst apparent on several of the songs, including the Berman-esque Green Room.
Personal highlight for me is 7-minute sad slacker ballad Wilding. It opens with the sound of drizzly, urban rain & a slow, plodding bass line. Foljhan’s vice sounds absolutely crushed & depressed. A bleak & mournful monotone which I find strangely comforting. A spoken word section only heightens the menacing vibes. The song fades out to the same drizzly rain effects but with the sounds of distant thunder creeping in.
If you’re able to withstand a healthy dose of melancholia or, better still, find it as comforting as I do, then you should definitely check out Weak Beats And Lame-Ass Rhymes. The excellent musicianship also makes this essential listening for most Indie Rock fans.
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