The After Birth
If Pavement's Steven Malkmus ever unearthed a sizable After the Gold Rush-era Neil Young jones, it'd probably emerge similar to Caustic Resin's The After Birth. Interpret that how you will, but there'd nevertheless be an inherently smug, "catch my irony, y'all" hokeyness to the proceedings, and that's abundantly clear on The After Birth. Caustic Resin lay into their semi-swampy backwater jams with all the languor of a band attempting to fulfill a contractual agreement, and that languor (undoubtedly, a pejorative term in this context) spills over into their audience, who'd just as readily smirk along slack-jawed with such indie-rockers too "smart" for their own good. The trio even has the gall to take feeble stabs at JSBX-esque hoe-down funk, distorted bullhorn vocals and all, sounding too much like yuk-yuk toss-offs that Spencer wouldn't even want his name attached to; even the darkly suspended closer, "Funky M.A.S.H." (great song, stupid title), can't save all the transgressions that transpired before it. At little more than a half-hour, The After Birth is absolutely exhausting for souls starved of sincerity.
Alias Records, 10153 1/2 Riverside Dr., Suite 115, Toluca Lake, CA 91602; http://www.aliasrecords.com
Nathan T. Birk