Other Men | Wake Up Swimming (Robcore)

cd_othermenWith ex-HV comrades Manolo Turner on drums and Travis Nelson handling the guitar duties, Other Men have turned away from the fractured and discordant heaviness of HV in favor of a decidedly more poppy and compact style.

 

 

 

 

Here he goes again. Before the ink could dry on reviews of his recent solo release Living Well, Rob Crow has returned with yet another side project. However, this time around it isn't just another Rob Crow side project.

Long before Pinback, Crow dove into the San Diego scene in the post-punk outfit Heavy Vegetable. Taking leads from Slint and Drive Like Jehu, the group released two LPs before breaking up in 1995. Fast-forward to the present day and Heavy Vegetable are back under the Other Men moniker. With ex-HV comrades Manolo Turner on drums and Travis Nelson handling the guitar duties, Other Men have turned away from the fractured and discordant heaviness of HV in favor of a decidedly more poppy and compact style.

On first listen, Other Men's tunes show an immediate familiarity that fans of Crow will certainly recognize—Goblin Cock excluded. However, it is in the swirling interplay between Nelson and Crow that the subtlety of Wake Up Swimming emerges. Poppy it may be at times, but this disc also rocks. The complexity and intricacy found throughout matches the vast majority of any bands that spawned in the heyday of '90s math rock. But hey, these fellas were smack-dab in the middle the salad days of Headhunter Records and their labelmates Drive Like Jehu (for whom Crow provided the shouts of "Suit up!" on the Jehu classic "Luau.")

Wake Up Swimming marks the debut release on Crow's Robcore Records. While I'm sure Crow wasn't listening to his inner Rickey Henderson when choosing the label's name, it is quite fitting. Given the cottage industry that he is, if there was a person whose collective work was deserving of their own genre, it would be Crow. ROBCORE! ROBCORE! ROBCORE! A | David Lichius

RIYL: Dianogah, Drive Like Jehu, The Ladies

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