The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Endless Boogie
Long Island Harry Sword , February 26th, 2013 05:48

Add your comment »

Sometimes you look at a band and you just know. Endless Boogie is like that – grizzled East Coast heads that play fucked up rock & roll long and slow, formed via the international record collecting scene. They look like the kind of guys you might find adding cheap bourbon to greasy reheated coffee in a 24 hour New Jersey diner before a 12 hour night shift. They make a raw and semi improvised racket in perpetual motion, heavy on groove and subtle detail, circular and rough shod. And although the idea of the jam band may call to mind a hazy spectre of Deadhead archivists arguing the toss over 'Dicks Picks' volume 18 or 34, Endless Boogie are nothing of the sort. Long Island, the band's sixth LP, never tells you what you don't need to know.

What Long Island captures is the warm sound of the room in full flow – it's a live album, really, recorded in a studio but improvised on the spot. Background imperfections are audible, the odd yelp of approval from afar, numerous clicks and buzz and hiss. There are two modes of attack – full on boogie or outer reach freakout, and often both are hit on the same track at differing points. 'The Savageist' begins as a cranked up fuzz attack anchored by a simple four note vamp, and ends as wild flailing ritual replete with squalling guitar drills as vocalist Top Dollar ('Top Dollar'!) grunts about 'the devil in my bed'.

Indeed Dollar has a magnificent voice - less 'whiskey drenched' and more 'hell hound on raki'. It makes Tom Waits sound like Geddy Lee although he doesn't use it much, favouring frequent interjections over a full on delivery. There is a swaggering menace and great dark romance to these vocal theatrics too; in a voice of less experience they could come across as hoary but Dollar spits em' out with such violence... "just taking out the trash... I got my face in eggs and hash”. 'The Montgomery Manuscript' brings to mind the current incantation of Swans, humming with swirling tension and endless hard focussed build, the boogie momentarily replaced by searing transcendental light. The section in which Dollar lists women's names is particularly dramatic, leaving the listener to ponder an unknowable significance... "Margaret, Sei Chi, Olivia, Ca..the..rine, Sammy's Romanian... the hitch!".

'Occult Banker' is a souk of squall, massive slabs of rising fuzz and fat concave drum fills knocking around. 'On Cryology' is a mellower affair, returning to a hazy blues based stumble shot through with 70s New York atmosphere – dime bags on the brownstone steps, kinetic energy tempered by heat haze and too many beers. This is fine American blue collar slackness, a paean to the continuing vibe of real boogie, in thrall to the body moving joy formidable - and no retro exercise either. Rather, it's living musical authenticity that hasn't stopped to look in the mirror too many times and dances like no one gives a shit, the good times rolling on down the years. Why stop?

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.

Feb 26, 2013 5:26pm

The IDEA of Endless Boogie is decent enough but face it, their execution is dogshit.

Listen to, say, Birds of Maya, or better yet see them live and experience worlds upon worlds of difference between intent and transcendence.

Reply to this Admin

Harry Sword
Feb 26, 2013 6:35pm

In reply to :

Nah, nowt wrong with the execution - this record is cooking, had it on repeat all week, helping with the grey. Not inclined to check links on bitter anonymous comments.

Reply to this Admin

Harry Sword
Feb 26, 2013 6:38pm

and as for the 'idea' of endless boogie - what idea? The idea is people who've been mates for years playing music in a room once a week. We ain't talking concept.

Reply to this Admin

Feb 26, 2013 6:51pm

In reply to Harry Sword:

well stated

Reply to this Admin

Feb 27, 2013 10:37am

I like Birds of Maya but they're going for something pretty different to EB I think. specifically, making a racket

Reply to this Admin

Apr 12, 2013 12:20pm

Just got wind of this lot via the Editors Picks article (though sadly not from the accompanying Spotify playlist). Replying to a month-and-a-half old comment is totally pointless, but "Their execution is dogshit"?????????? I'm obviously listening to something else entirely.

Reply to this Admin

Sep 23, 2013 1:21pm

yeah wicked recordings fellas

Reply to this Admin