Monday, July 23, 2007

Liechtenstein - Stalking Skills

How great is it when bands decide to completely forget what year it is and how they're supposed to evolve sounds to incorporate newer influences and place some sort of timestamp on the musical world? How much better is it when they're Swedish and [very cute] girls? I know it might sound like I'm being sarcastic (on the first sentence, not the second), but I'm not. When I first heard "Stalking Skills" on the C06 compilation tape I ordered from Mira El Pendulo, I instantly recognized it as the best song on the compilation, and if it weren't for the limitations of cassette tapes and the fact that the tape is probably in some hard-to-reach crevice of my car (along with my Dentists cassette), I'd have worn it out long ago.

Anyway, I came across this single and its two b-sides a few months after the cassette made its presence scarce, and by that time I had somewhat forgotten about the song and how great it was. On second listen, the first thing I thought was that if someone told me that Liechtenstein's Stalking Skills 7" were a Dolly Mixture/Girls at Our Best! split from 1982, I'd believe it. The second thing that I thought was that I had definitely heard that title track before and after some digging around my automobile, I confirmed my suspicions (I lied about the tape being lost in my car; it's in my car, but I know exactly where it is) and believe me when I say that I can ask for nothing more of modern artists than to sound exactly like this band does. Newer stuff is good, but I had always felt something of a void in the girly-post-punk-meets-indie-pop stream, and though it's quite possible that I haven't been looking hard enough, this seems to fit the bill as well as I could have hoped for anything to do.

Delightful accented vocals with background harmonies over simple guitar and bass riffs over the beat of a $10 drum kit and a masterfully skittish tambourine are the base ingredients, and when you add in a pinch of each of the aforementioned bands and a dash of Shop Assistants, you get a dish that's sweet, but with a tough consistency that suggests it wasn't left to bake quite long enough, but that's the way it was meant to be! The only issue that I take with Liechtenstein is that they've only released this one 7", which with 3 songs clocking in at a bit over seven minutes (that's one minute per inch!), desperately leaves a first-time listener wanting more. Luckily, as I have tested over the past four months, repeated listens don't really do anything to detract from the quality. My iTunes play count shows 42 plays for each of the tracks and that doesn't even count what I listen to on my iPod (to alleviate any concerns that I might be applauding this band without doing anything to financially support their cause, let me say this: if they were to tour anywhere near here, I'd be there in a second and I'd even buy a t-shirt. Also, if they released a full-length album, or an EP, or another 7", I'd have that one on the way to my doorstep in a heartbeat. As for that first 7", the one I just talked about, it's on its way to me as we speak, and hopefully I'll be able to listen to this thing in its true vinyl glory within the week). So yes, please give Liechtenstein a chance.

Myspace (there's a song on here that's not on the 7"):
HHBTM Records (buy it for $5, shipping included--not too shabby for an import):


charz said...

garz you've been posting like crazy. good job. I haven't even written one article, not counting from the archives, and this site bears my name!

Nukros said...

i listened to the song on their myspace page for 10 seconds. two thumbs down. more like Liechtenblowdeeznuts.

Eric said...

Thanks, charz. What are you sean, the official comment "hater"?

Danny said...

yeah, he's a total hater. He might regret it when I review the new Octopus Barley track Eric sent me. But probably not because that song is amazing.