El Camino (2015, Reissue)
There are a lot of vinyl reissues going on these days. Many of them instances where a CD only album is being put to vinyl for the first time. Some of these are kind of ridiculous and while I guess there's a demand, I can't help but feel they're just clogging up pressing plants for the most part. On the flip side, there are so many albums out there that I am just begging to be put out on vinyl. Shipwrecked by The Sultans and Onehundredpercentfreak by Alligator Gun immediately jump to mind. Self's Gizmodgery is kind of in the middle of these two extremes. As far as reissues go, I'm not sure it was essential that it get released, but I do like this record and am happy to have it on vinyl.
I don't know if I would go so far as to call Gizmodgery a guilty pleasure. I don't think there's anything embarrassing about liking this record. I don't think cool points are subtracted for owning it. But, it's definitely something of a gimmick. All of the songs on Gizmodgery were recorded using toy instruments only. It give the album a very unique feel and it's a pretty remarkable set of songs that were able to be crafted with such an odd set of resources.
Luckily, the songs underneath the gimmick are also pretty strong. There's a certain poppy Beck like quality to everything and a little genre hopping. From the bouncy power-pop chorus of "Dead Man" to the Casio-fueled, stupid-lyrics-containing "Trunk Fulla Amps" to the surprisingly fun and faithful cover of "What A Fool Believes" there's no shortage of interesting sounds throughout. Is this the kind of record that you can listen to all the time, a staple in the rotation? Probably not, but it's certainly fun to pop on every so often and just indulge in a little sugary pop.
Self - "Dead Man":
Self - "What A Fool Believes":