vertical-scratchers

After meeting at a thanksgiving party, John Schmersal and Christian Beaulieu formed Vertical Scratchers, and just like the mishmash of battered walls inside The Smell in Los Angeles where they recorded ‘Daughter of Everything’, the contents of this first album that they have made together is a jumble of unhinged garage rock. A rawness fizzles through every single one of these songs – most clock in under the two minute mark – but it most certainly isn’t an invigorating fist pumping racket like fellow Smell kings No Age produce.

Not that this matters when ‘Someone’ shows a group breaking into a confident jangly pop stride and ‘These Plains’ perfectly shows off Schmersal’s dazzling falsetto, whereas ‘Get Along Like U’ features Robert Pollard’s guest vocals that make for a surprising jaunty boogie. However, on the whole, ‘Daughter of Everything’ is a baffling listen that is nauseating, frustrating and irritating with its stop-start nature that is a bit like being served up tiny portions of fifteen main meals in one bowl. Vertical Scratchers are a loose cannon, but with some coherency and fluidity their exciting ideas may yet have a platform to flourish from in the future.

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