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Single Frame
Everything Wants To Be Used For What It Was Made For
Volcom Entertainment
www.singleframe.net


Six of these tracks make up what could be a new EP, and the rest of thealbum are remixes making the CD accurately priced at about 10 bucks. The new material, as a collection of "stuff" is pretty decent music from what I guess I could call the "vintage" Single Frame sound... but since vintage refers to one album and an EP, that may not be the most appropriate term. "Silver Crime Lining" is the crown jewel contained within that EP's worth of… stuff. "Icon" is yet another reminder that SF's overall importance will be summarized not by what they did, but how they did it. It's not a very good song overall, but I gotta level with you: I can't get the damn thing out of my head. "Nobody" and "Float Over Oregon" are haunting reminders of the loneliness captured by the second half of Wetheads Come Running.

The remixes, on the other hand, are a decidedly mixed bag, due in part to the fact that they weren't remixed by the band. The most glaring opportunity missed is "Exact Copy" (A remix of "Exact Copy of This in the Basement"). This one can be singled out because the original track was flawed, but with a lot of promise. (The live version is superior to the recorded one, so I know there's something to be done with it.) Unfortunately, J-Mprint appears to have tried to go a similar route that Single Frame did with their own remix of "New Car Smell" on Burn Radio Airtest. Essentially, SF reduced the original song (one of their greatest from Wetheads Come Running) to its basest elements and remixed it into an impenetrable and frightening masterwork bordering on artistic genius. "Exact Copy" has marginally followed that formula within a dance-mix paradigm, but with little return on the results. The reductionism has boiled all of the nutrient out of the carrot, leaving a swollen, mushy core lacking in substance or taste. The Machine remix of "Clippership" is a smoother, tighter and subsequently less harsh version, but is otherwise indistinguishable from the original. The first day demo of "Post Daydream" could alternately be called the MTV Unplugged version. The song is a great one in any context, and here has a stripped down simplicity that evokes a more subdued response, but lacks the impact of the original. That is until we get to its coda, the spinetingling typewriter finale that I'd only ever seen live prior to this CD's issuance. The ablest hands are unsurprisingly those of Creepykid whose previous work on "Comm Jet" makes me wonder why they don't just hire this guy as their album producer. He has a flair for injecting a certain brand of melancholy solitude into the tracks he re-works that were sorely lacking on Body/End/Basement.

This is primarily a CD for fans of the band who can't get enough, and as a fan, it gets my recommendation - if for no other reason than the new material. Remixes seem to be a part of the zeitgeist these days, so my general disaffection for them may not be shared by a great many others. Herein, there are some good and some bland. I would have liked to see their "Taxidermy Heads" remix in here, which live, exhibits the band's talent for reinvention I've lauded them for in the past, but that is perhaps reserved for another day, another album.

-JD

Track Listing:
01 Icon
02 Guess What Angel
03 Taken For A Walk (Unreleased Dimeslot)
04 Silver Crime Lining (Abandoned Demo)
05 Clippership (Machine Remix)
06 Exact Copy (Witch Dr. Remix by J-Mprint)
07 Nobody
08 Flying Circus (Apartment Mix)
09 Damaged (Fragments)
10 Post Daydream (First Day Demo)
11 Floral Design (Straight Line Remix by J-Mprint)
12 Sores For Change
13 Underground At Noon (Sunlight Hits Remix By Creepy Kid)
14 Dry Lips (Car Stereo Wars Remix by Chris Rose)
15 People Are Germs (Monaster Mash-up remix By Nick Zinner)
16 Digital Witness (Protection remix by Creepykid)
17 Float Over Oregon


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Mike Doughty



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