Bookended shows Cover songs FTBOTRB Recommendation New Music Selection Record Box Classic

Vic Mars’ secretive world as viewed from a rail carriage


Vic Mars takes us on a journey of his Inner Roads and Outer Paths this week. It’s all very nostalgic and wistful. It’s life viewed from a rail carriage. Think of endless summers, grass stains on your knees and collecting bugs in a jar. Now try to imagine how that might sound and you’ve pretty much landed in the world of Vic Mars. Tobin remarked that it was a very subtle way to open the show, and he’d be right. However, therein lies the beauty of Vic Mars‘ music; subtlety. Initially then, the show’s bookend is all about the English countryside, however, we’ve much more than this.

Firstly, Tobin has brought us another cracking Cover Shot that gives us the dilemma of which is better, the cover or the original. It’s an epic jam that takes in more than one track and is an ambitious recording to say the least. It even sparked interest in Richard’s youngest son, who went on to demonstrate his alarming dance skills. Secondly, Tobin also has a Record Box Classic with a melody line par excellence. And, that’s exactly why it’s a classic.

New Music

Infuriatingly omitted vowels spell out the track from Illuminati Hotties today. You can join their label subscription for as little as $6 per month. You’ll get instant music – over 29 tracks – and you’ll be happy in the knowledge that your wonga is going to help some decent folk. Check it out here. The song itself sounds somewhat juvenile, but there’s a river of benign aggression running all the way underneath it. To be honest, it’s a great listen and attracts little, if any, criticism. Apart from the title of course.

  1. A Nest in the Warehouse Roof Vic Mars
  2. Harder Better Faster Stronger The Traffic
  3. The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
  4. PPL PLZR Illuminati Hotties
  5. Know Where Dead Sea
  6. Mad World Tears for Fears
  7. Hedgerows and Conservation Vic Mars

Vic Mars is a compelling listen – Inner Roads and Outer Paths

This LP from Vic Mars is largely greater than the sum of its parts. Is it minimalist? We’re not sure. Gut feeling is no. Is it great music? Yes. It’s captivating on more than one level at least. The cover artwork is expansive and full of perspective. So that’s the menu that has you salivating and wanting to taste the food right? It’s also gorgeously presented on what Clay Pipe Records describes as “transparent blue vinyl”. This description is incorrect, and incorrect in a good way. We would describe the vinyl as more dark turquoise, maybe even lapis lazuli, with a slight smokey marbling. It’s truly breathtaking. Quite unlike any other coloured vinyl we’ve seen. When sat on the Technics it takes on a thick opaque look which is likewise beautiful.

Also, the cover is printed on uncoated board giving a very tactile feel. It’s excellently printed, as is the inner sleeve which contains credits and track listing. As a bonus, we received two download vouchers in our copy! Deliciously different. In summation, a phenomenal product. But what’s the music like?

The soundscape of Vic Mars

If you check out the reverse of the cover of this LP you are looking through the broken glass of a church window onto the landscape peppered with the odd pebbledash bungalow. And that’s how this whole LP feels, like you’re peering into the world of Vic Mars from a secretive vantage point. It’s easy to hear the influences of the 1980s recording equipment that was used in the production of this. Everything is so very retrospective but yet feels forward looking at the same time.

Vic Mars has conjured up a very British, nay English, scene here and has managed to monumentally express it musically. A photograph, made out of recorders, 80’s keys and school glockenspiels. A remarkable achievement and one worth gracing any music aficionado’s vinyl crates. But go ahead and do it soon. This pressing is limited to 700 and all are hand numbered. Ours is number 91/700.

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