Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Revinylization Project: Swan Lake - Enemy Mine

With a trio like Carey Mercer, Daniel Bejar, and Spencer Krug, it's not hard to expect such musical genius that one would never want to listen to another record again. Well, Enemy Mine does not blow my mind like that, but it is a very, very good collection of songs. The first track, "Spanish Gold, 2044", is the fat piece of rock excess I want from a supergroup and is the perfect vehicle for Mercer's thick-throated growl. The next few tracks adequately show off Krug's and Bejar's musical prowess as well. However, it isn't until the fifth track, "Ballad of Swan Lake, Or, Daniel's Song", when the listener is fully engulfed by the potential these three musicians collectively hold. Sadly, the rest of the album is somewhat inconsistent. There are highs and lows, but it mostly consists of hits not misses. I think Pitchfork hit the nail on the head with this one in giving the album a 7.4.


The insert is a good, old-fashioned lyric sheet. Nothing special. Times New Roman-typed. Just lyrics in black and white.


In keeping with the odd/ugly album covers coming out of Vancouver, BC these days (sans
Neko Case's fetching pic on Middle Cyclone), Swan Lake opted for a courtroom illustration like one you'd see on the evening news. Do people still do these? Don't they have iPhones? Take a picture.

The back is a simple photo of a table and two benches in front of a window. Could it possibly be related to the court scene on the cover? We may never know. What we do know is that the album was recorded in two sessions, the pseudonymed Reg Lech/Palachi did the cover illustration, and the back cover is in fact a photo.

As with most (if not all) Jagjaguwar releases, Enemy... comes complete with the MP3 download so you can cheat the vinyl gods of their glory.


No 180 gram or fancy etchings here, just plain, sweet, old vinyl. There's music on them there discs and that's good enough.


Because collaboration should be encouraged everywhere: public schools, corporations, basketball teams, and especially music groups. The music coming out of Canada's "other" scene is as inventive as anything out there. They've basically taken anything ugly from the seventies and eighties and made it fresh and interesting. Besides, you have to be a fan of at least one of the bands related to Swan Lake (Frog Eyes, Destroyer, Hello, Blue Roses, The New Pornographers, Wolf Parade, or Sunset Rubdown) making you that much more interested in Enemy Mine.

No comments: