Proto Idiot, “Idiot Proto” CD

cover-proto-idiotMuch like Jay Reatard stepping away from the Reatards, Andrew Anderson of the Hipshakes’ solo work is stripped down to bare bones. The music he makes as Proto Idiot is the same lo-fi recording techniques as used by the Hipshakes. It sounds like it’s one mic placed in the middle of the room and then someone says, “go!”

Granted, this isn’t as fast or noisy as the Hipshakes, meaning Idiot Proto is an album that’s clearer — if not cleaner — than what Anderson’s done in the past.

A song which perfectly illustrates this point is “Can’t Win,” which is fuzzy and distorted, but with a guitar line which shines brightly through. “Do You Like Who You Are?” steps even further afield from his Hipshakes past with its bluesy, jangly pastoral pop. If ever there were a song deserving of the appellation “Kinks-ian,” this would be it.

Odd Box declares this a summer jam, and I have to agree. It’s exactly the sort of thing to blare out a poorly-amplified boom box late at night. One too many beers is the state of awareness you want. That edge right between tipsy and fucking drunk rounds the edges off Proto Idiot, turning what you hear into something more. The drums will bop you along until morning.

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