When I started putting out tapes all these years ago, I remember thinking it might be a little crazy to include the two zeros in the Planted Tapes catalog numbers, somehow assuming (dreaming) that eventually I'd have enough releases under our belt to accommodate all three digits. Well, with PT008, I'm proud to say we're one tape closer to that target. And hey, what better way to return to the tape fray than to release my own band's first collection of tracks?
So: "Meaninglessnessless" -- having a lack of meaninglessness? OK, we're still trying to figure that out, but for our purposes here, Meaninglessnessless is a six-song debut from the Chicago-based free-jazz-informed instrumental riff-rock trio.
Graphics tip-toe and trample their way through tangled chord progressions, contorting propulsive pop hooks into skewed, polytonal diatribes. Stabbing baritone guitar lines trace cubist melodies which are rearranged into strange, oblong clusters of rhythm, then blasted through a cannon of bass and drums. Where a lot of rock music moves listeners through catharsis, triumph, and pain, Graphics scrap all that overdetermined meaning-making to get you lost in the woods of dissonance and ambivalence for curiosity’s sake. Shafts of melodic light pierce the dense harmonic overgrowth, your guides muttering tangentially under their breath as they creep and climb through musical terrain by turns expansive and claustrophobic. As they piece together and pull apart their teetering jenga-tower of pitch and rhythm, Graphics stay on their toes to keep you on yours. Jeff Wheeler and Crawford Philleo met in early 2017, adding James DB (who played with Crawford in Ko) a couple months later. They rehearsed these songs for about a year before recording them at JamDek studios in the Spring of 2018. Another batch of six is already written and ready to go in the oven but Meaninglessness is the opening volley. Make your own meaning of it!
Stream a couple of samples from the tape below, and catch Graphics at their tape release show on 12/12/2019 at Cafe Mustache in Chicago
• Edition of 100
• Tapes ship 12/12/2019
• $8 shipped postage paid in the US & Canada