ABSINTHE & THE DIRTY FLOORS MAY LOOK LIKE A FULL ALBUM, BUT IT’S ACTUALLY 2 EPS, RECORDED ALMOST TWO YEARS APART…
Like the start of some epic space fantasy or time-honored fairytale, so begins the explainer pasted inside Absinthe & The Dirty Floors on vinyl. When Absinthe & The Dirty Floors Side 1 held hands with Side 2 requires a bit of lovely setup, you know.
Just seven hard copies of the vinyl were produced (so far, anyway). I’m the very proud owner of No. 5 in a My Child Made the Honor Roll kind of way. Host a housewarming and know a friend on the inside, and perhaps a copy of Absinthe & The Dirty Floors might one day be in your music collection, too.
Absinthe & The Dirty Floors was delicately handed to me about a week ago from said friend (now gooood friend). It’s been consumed in a way many might consider ravenous since. I’m OK with it, of course. The hangover hasn’t slapped me square in the face yet.
What distinguishes Absinthe & The Dirty Floors from much else I’ve blabbed about lately is how serious and definite these kids are. They’re purposeful artists generating distinct sounds with starts and finishes. Nothing’s flipped under the rug. Nor hazy. Unfinished. ATDF plays like open book with crispy pages.
Side 2 spins away from Side 1 by getting weird, if only a little. The latter four tracks each include intros dipped in experiment. “Sonario” is a mess of slow dance before fat slabs of bass signal a shift to swirly guitar and drums. Jessica’s vocals, an otherwise early mainstay on ATDF tracks, get delayed for minutes.
Outro “Hunter” is the most unconventional. ATDF splices in what seems like pieces of some yesteryear PSA happily educating American youth on how to be wonderful capitalists. A real pity Side 2 (and the album, then) complete themselves on such futile notes. “The Way I Am,” Side 1’s outro, seemed like a well-timed, I’m Totally Awesome bitch slap to the slow build of paranoia that came before.
Sides 1 and 2 have that in common. The essence of what Jessica sings about, anyway, might literally be escapism. “Black Ice,” which you must listen to momentarily, is a desperate Jessica pleading to “get lost.” Like she commanded it, Jessica’s blanketed in a heap of cathartic beats.
I’ve included my favorites from each side: “Black Ice” (Side 1) and “Social Acting” (Side 2).
- The Chicago-based Absinthe & The Dirty Floors is Adam Wiebe, Jessica Risker, Joshua Wentz and Matt Harting. | Facebook
- Side 1 is pay what you want; Side 2 is $4. | Bandcamp
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