Philadelphia’s Banned Books have been in the game over seven years now, so it’s rather surprising that their official self titled LP has taken this long to emerge. I often find myself deliberating for at least 15 minutes before I take the first bite into a granny smith apple. I just don’t know where to bite, and I need to mentally prepare myself for the crisp and acidic savour I know I’m going to endure. Maybe it was the same thing for Banned Books, the need to mentally prepare. Maybe not. In fact, maybe not. Whatever the case, we are just glad that it is finally here, and fully encompassing their calm yet mercurial approach to indie music.
You wouldn’t be excused from hearing the subtle angularity and quirk of Deerhoof in their LP (in fact, the tenor vocals bear a striking parallel with those of Greg Saunier). Tracks like ‘Everything I’ll Ever Need’ and ‘Dance’ certainly have these beautiful, downbeat, lullaby-esque charms, and enough quirky key changes to keep you guessing. Altogether, it’s a delicious and slightly left-of center discourse, laden with whimsical guitar melodies and gently-sung vocals. Each song bears a distinct craft, and the thoughtfulness has allowed them to really push the boundaries of guitar and drum collaboration. Top form.
Did you know that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was originally banned? Weird.