Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bands to Care About: Von Hayes

There’s two things you should know about Von Hayes, right away. First, no, Von Hayes the baseball player did not start making music, thank god! Second, Von Hayes the band is obsessed with Guided By Voices. How obsessed are they? Let’s see the check list. Collage style artwork? Check. 20 song album with song length averaging about a minute thirty each? Singers singing in flux British accents? Check? Todd Todis working on both their debut album Evident Eyelid and EP Quartered Lots for the Umbrella Soldier? Check. Yet, despite all the similarities, the band never feels like a parody or copy. Mainly because every song feels and sounds just as good as anything GBV did back in their mid 90’s heyday. Everything you loved about Bee Thousands or Alien Lanes is remade into a shiny new package to enjoy once again. With just the right balance of acoustic jangles like “Madison Arms” and over fuzzed guitar wailing tracks like “Karen Dreams in Hardcore”. “Life Kicks Ass” could easily be the original version of “Salty Salute”  They even have the balancing act of GBV, splitting the son writing between both guitar players, Peter Bothum and Andrew Zitelli. Yes, it does feel at times the band is putting themselves in a corner with their commitment to the Guided by Voices sound. However, even if they can never expand their sound, Von Hayes are making some of the best old school indie rock around, and I know will be sing along to “Prestige Replicas” for a long time 

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