Don't you sometimes just love discovering something fresh, new and exciting? With this multi-talented Canadian artist, this is exactly what you get, complete with a healthy side-order of strange and a sprinkling of weird.
First, some ultra-quick background info: originally from Montreal, Mac DeMarco started off as Makeout Videotape back in 2008 and as soon as 2009 was touring with Vancouver's Unfamiliar Records labelmates Japandroids. He then signed to Captured Tracks and in March 2012 released Rock and Roll Night Club.
This LP has more than its fair share of weird distractions, not least of all two bizarre radio skits that just seem to add to an overall air of strange abstraction found throughout. Once I put such and other distractions aside however and started getting into the meat of the album, I began to get more and more drawn into DeMarco's stories. At times mesmerizing, often bewildering and almost always unpredictable, Rock and Roll Night Club is a lot to take in at first listen.
On this album you basically get two very contrasting DeMarco's: one is a little creepy, a little close-to-the-edge, just like on Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans where he flouts his infatuation for denim-clad women. The other is a totally different-sounding, breezy almost vocalist that makes his presence known on the last two tracks of the album. One of them, a Video Makeout era Only You, is my favorite track on the LP, and certainly a good contender for my top-50 tracks for 2012 list (yes I like it that much).
Other highlights for me include the eponymous opener Rock and Roll Night Club, with its twisted guitar licks and European Vegas' weird catchiness. I also very much enjoyed I'm A Man no matter how goofy it might sound to most. And One More Tear To Cry is one of those superbly evocative Johnny Cashesque ballads you could be forgiven for expecting to hear 40-50 years ago.
It's not all great however. Tunes like She's Really All I Need and Me and John Hanging On didn't do much for me, thought I'll hasten to add that they didn't offend me either. If there's one track I would have omitted it would be Moving Like Mike, which in my opinion overdid the oddness or undercooked the quality. But neither this ode to the King of Pop nor other over-the-top weirdnesses weren't going to ruin it for me, and I overall feel like I've found something I'd like to hang on to for a while.
Primary Genre: Rock
Release Date: 27 March 2012
Label: Captured Tracks
Influences: Elvis, Johnny Cash, Lou Reed, Ween
Like This And You'll Probably Also Like: Deerhunter, Ariel Pink, Foals
Album Highlights:, , European Vegas, I'm A Man,
"Really enjoyed this thoroughly, quirks and all."