Willie Loco Alexander
The Holy Babble (Tourmaline)
by Lex Marburger
We recently received a package from Tourmaline Records, and since we had never gotten anything from them before, we weren’t sure what to expect. The three CDs turned out to be so diverse, we thought it would be best to show you what Maine has to offer side-by-side. First up is Forest Floor, with their album Scrawls From the Unconscious. The best comparison I can make is to This Heat: a shifting, turning, world groove exploratory adventure, most likely completely improvised (the only thing, literally, their bio says is “Experimental spur-of-the-moment free form sonic expression,” which doesn’t help much), with an almost Can-like happiness in their games/travels. If that last sentence didn’t make much sense, try reading it backwards while singing it aloud in a soft voice. Then buy the album.
The next CD makes a complete 180 degree turn and gallops off to crush ignorant infidels as Theory of Negativity. On their self-titled release, they rip, stomp and tear at my speakers, making their lyrics, the tried and true stance against society, actually work. Theory of Negativity’s words take on the old cloak of force and focus, and actually mean something. One of my favorites is “Blueface,” an adrenaline-fueled rant of independence and self-assurance. Get ready to get rocked by these guys.
Jumping far out into left field is Willie Loco Alexander, doing spoken word accompanied by some background music, and an occasional song on The Holy Babble. Perhaps I don’t have the culture to be able to appreciate spoken word, or perhaps I haven’t smoked enough dope, but I had a hard time getting into his personal stories of his life, and ruminations about one thing or another. I don’t have to get a CD to hear this stuff, all I have to do is hang around this office, hearing the stories and bragging of the various writers, advertisers, copy editors, ad infinitum and more than a little nauseum. I suppose this will be a requirement of the terminally hip, but I’m not that desperate yet.
So there you have it, Tourmaline Records’ finest (or at least what they sent us). Three radically different facets of music, from one label. Cool. Go for it.