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Why does everybody make such a big to-do about Mordecai’s Montana origins? Hell, it’s a place just like any other, just bigger than most. And it’s not like the (true) story of them recording in a YMCA bathroom really offers a proper “big sky” vibe, although it certainly had a more unique aroma than most studios.
But on Neil’s Generator, things really do open up in a way where the juxtaposition between huge space / not so huge amount of people really makes sense. If the previous LP College Rock formed a friendly union between noisy Swell Maps-ian clatter, post-garage Fall prickliness, and the all-American DIY basement joy of Mike Rep / Tommy Jay, Neil’s Generator embodies the same kind of loose, ragged glory perpetrated by the Meat Puppets, Rayne, Dead Moon, and the Velvets staring into a cracked and filthy mirror. The guitars—and make no mistake, this is a guitar record, and a damn fine one indeed!—retain a spiky waywardness, like if Robert Quine had recorded a Rough Trade single. But these songs have more space to breathe, and therefore function as a launching pad for some gleeful six-string abandon.
Who knows how many rodeos the Bodish brothers have witnessed, but for sure they understand the risky notion that sometimes you’re in control of a guitar, other times the guitar can get the best of you. If they’re not afraid to take the chance, you shouldn’t be either—so hop on board.