Wednesday, 10th September, 2008
Rubber Molding: "High Octane" E.P
Lo-fi and endearingly stupid, New Jersey's Rubber Molding sound like they’re having a lot of fun on their new ten-song release, High Octane. The songs are mostly two-minute blasts of dirty guitar and clattering drums over screamy vocals that screech about whatever’s going through the singer’s head at the moment - Shakespear, Eleanor Roosevelt, dancing about architecture… They have fun with words (“Esophagactus Boy”) and fun with the blues, deconstructing classic chord progressions into cheeky blather. It’s all a bit like what Half Japanese was doing thirty years ago, or what no doubt thousands of teenagers do in their basements and garages every weekend - turning silly impulses and creative thoughts into crude but enjoyable rock ‘n’ roll. If you’re a fan of the lo-fi nonsense routinely released on Plan-It-X, you should enjoy this.
Rubber Molding: "My Monkey Needs to Wash His Hair... Can We Please Have Your Blood?" L.P
On the band’s more ambitious eighteen-song debut release, the preposterously-titled My Monkey Needs To Wash His Hair... Can We Please Have Your Blood? (released in 2006), the band wallows in mostly-acoustic folk-punk (or anti-folk, or whatever you’d care to call it). There’s more “musicianship” in evidence here than on High Octane - technical solos, harmonica, some attempts at harmony - but as with Ween, the results largely depend on how silly a mood you’re in (and most probably, the variety and potency of drugs available at the time Rubber Molding were recording.) This stuff goes off in a dozen different directions - sea chanties and faux folk and 60’s pop - but little of it actually connects. It’s more like the band was just flailing around, recording every idea they came up with, and hoping that some direction would emerge from the chaos. Happily, on the basis of the more cogent and enjoyable High Octane, it did.