Posse – Soft Opening - 2014 Seattle Indie Noise Rock Ltd Ed LP
Posse – Soft Opening (Inverted Color Edition)
Wharf Cat Records – none, Beating A Dead Horse Records – none
Vinyl, LP, 45 RPM, Album, Limited Edition, Repress
18 Nov 2016
Experimental, Indie Rock, Punk, Noise
A1 Interesting Thing No. 2 3:17
A2 Afraid 5:14
A3 Talk 2:44
A4 Shut Up 6:34
B5 Jon 2:39
B6 2U 2:48
B7 Cassamdra B. 4:15
B8 Zone 6:31
Barcode and Other Identifiers
( Pitchfork) That’s important, because this is really no-frills indie rock. The most notable studio tricks Posse employ are a fuzz pedal, a tambourine, and the occasional echo on Maxim’s vocals. Either Wittmann-Todd is playing an extremely avant-garde solo during a portion of “Jon” or they simply didn’t feel like overdubbing a flubbed take. On the up-tempo numbers, Posse recall a rainy day Real Estate, a less bookish Galaxie 500, or Yo La Tengo driven by a equivocal, platonic friendship. On slower-than-slowcore “Talk", they’re all but mesmerized by their own torpor, situated somewhere in between Pavement’s “Stop Breathing” and Built to Spill’s “Cleo” in terms of uncomfortably numb guitar heroism. Similar to those bands, Posse make music that is lo-fi without sounding cheap, purposeful minimalism that can sound strangely expansive: Maxim and Wittmann-Todd’s vocals are barely projected without being off-key, and the guitar leads have an effortless melodicism whenever they take over. Even if most of these songs could be strummed out from a beanbag chair, Posse always add a chord that fancies things up just enough.
Posse describe their sound as “delay pedals and 27 years of disappointment”, which may not be factually correct; you hear a lot more of the latter than the former, and the second line of opener “Interesting Thing No. 2” is “You turned 25, so many things you haven’t tried.” It’s theoretically sound all the same, since Soft Opening’s self-deprecation is a big part of its appeal. For all of its invocations of 80s and 90s A-listers, Soft Opening is an of-the-moment record in the way it aligns with the sort of sitcoms that dominate the viewing habits of people Posse’s age: the actors involved are presented as friends, yet they don’t really seem to like each other all that much.
In the case of Soft Opening, nearly every song is a subtly hilarious metacommentary on some sort of communication breakdown.
A song later on “Shut Up”, a drunk and bored Wittmann-Todd fantasizes about a time when he’s going to work up the nerve to tell someone to shut their yap, even if it’s himself: “I’m gonna watch you go outside now/ And make a stupid face/ And shut up."
And yet, none of this venting comes off as mean-spirited. In fact, most of Soft Opening unwinds with the casual bonhomie of three post-work beers over darts; the deleterious effects are minimal compared to the necessary release and bonding."