Meme, myself and I
Some of you are no doubt old enough to have seen the vinyl record shrink from mass-culture necessity to semiprecious, hipper-than-ever boutique subculture niche. Being home to one of the world's last remaining vinyl pressing plants, United Records, and one of the world's most infamous purveyors of grooved collectibles — Third Man Records — Nashville is pumping out so much vinyl lately, some labels have to go a little above and beyond to get attention.
Owned and operated by a former couple split between Music City and Chattanooga, Memetic Society has released a substantial collection of hand-crafted singles by local bands, including but not limited to Nite Nite, Faux Ferocious and Majestico (all of which were available for free upon admission to Friday night's showcase at The Basement). The latter act was first.
It's gotten increasingly rare to see the intentionally enigmatically monikered Majestico backed by the same band twice, but the fellows from Fly Golden Eagle have done just that for a few months now — and ably so. His/their take on freewheelin', slow-grinding, lazy, hazy, raucous psychedelic rock could easily be impressed upon some ignorant fool as a batch of forgotten nuggets from Summer of Love-era San Francisco. But nope. He's just a purist-minded dude from Nashville, and we can't seem to find anything wrong with that.
Following up, Justin and the Cosmics — the one act not actually affiliated with Memetic — carried on in the retro-rockin', reverb-steeped tradition, only this time with a more aggressive attack juxtaposed with a very countrified tinge. Outfitted with an Orbison-esque croon, delivered by who we assume is Justin, they essentially sounded like Bakersfield on better drugs, or early Meat Puppets with tighter chops. To lessen any confusion: Those are all good things.
By the time locals Faux Ferocious got started, we definitely sensed a theme here. Barking snotty lyrics over surfy riffs, dipping occasionally into dweeby psych-blues, Faux sounded something akin to The Ramones having spent a little too much time in the California sun — again, not a bad thing.
Rounding out the lineup, and by far drawing the most fanfare of the evening, was Nashville's Fly Golden Eagle — also by far the most polished of the bunch on all fronts. These former electro rockers have also fallen under the spell of retro-romanticism, but haven't quite let go of their synth-pop fetish. While most of their jams are now driven by three chords and organ grinds, they are prone to cool out into more contemporary fits of blue-eyed soul laced with synth-y overtones without losing their danceability.
Picking out our complimentary 7-inch on the way out was no easy choice, so we dropped a few bucks on a couple more — leaving The Spin wondering what to do with our premium Spotify account now that we've got all this vinyl to spin.
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