Genre: Industrial / Noise / Experimental / Alt. Rock
Side A – Boy Dirt Car:
01) Louis Bounce
03) Something about New Orleans
04) Train Song
Side B – Andy Gallagher:
01) I should’ve Stayed in Bed Today
02) Calm before the Storm
03) If Only I could
04) The Warmth of your Love
After Music Recordings is a relatively unknown Minneapolis-based purely vinyl micro-label that “provides small pressings of uncommon, unusual and unpopular vinyl recordings”. It would seem that they primarily release music local to the Minneapolis area and, while supporting all of the artists that they have released, seem to have mostly focused on the Industrial / Experimental project Boy Dirt Car whom is taking up one-half of this split LP. This support shouldn’t come as any surprise though, as the label is owned by Boy Dirt Car co-founder Darren Brown. Boy Dirt Car were first around mostly through the 80’s, first releasing a number of cassettes on what I’m assuming was their own imprint at the time, Artweather Communications, and then through Ron Lessard’s now infamous noise / experimental label RRRecords. The project halted shortly after the “Winter” LP and the live LP “1983-7 Live w/Out a Body”, but eventually had some of this older material re-released in the mid-90’s by RRRon as the “Instinctual” 3LP Boxset. The group eventually rebounded and, shortly after the turn of the century, were releasing again on the experimental / psych label Lexicon Devil (see: Yawning Sons / Yawning Man). From there we arrive at the present. Andy Gallagher is a bit of an odd-man-out for the label, both in terms of his style of music and his geographical location, being the first international artist to be released on the label and was born in the US to Mexican and Scottish parents. It’s unclear where Gallagher actually lives but it’s implied that he’s in Scotland. Gallagher has had several single releases as well as the album “Hope shines through” prior to this split, however, it appears that this is his most professional yet.
This is perhaps one of the most unconventional split releases that we’ve covered since even the original Heathen Harvest opened its doors back in 2003. Side A features the industrial noise jams of Boy Dirt Car that carry the metallic sounds and acoustic instrumentation from buried horns to up-front bass with clanking industrial sounds. The tracks on this side of the split incorporate everything from marimba melodies and cat noises to overpowering disturbing mantras that after their own speech, consistently repeat “I bow before your idols, I spit at your god!” It’s certainly an experimental/psyched out atmosphere as this extreme voice is maddeningly chanted over top of a grooving bass-line and a percussive metallic background. Gallagher’s side is some straight up old-fashioned alternative rock as influenced by the likes of Neil Young, Dinosaur Jr. Violent Femmes, etc. There’s little of Young’s folk influences to be found as most tracks are either pretty typical grooving radio rock or acoustic ballads with the exception of the opening track, “I should’ve Stayed in Bed Today”. The last track, however, “The Warmth of your Love” features a Young-esque harmonica solo that doesn’t come off quite as heart-felt / impressive.
Obviously, for sake of argument, it needs to be said that Gallagher’s side of the split is not something that we would normally do a write-up for, however, the fact that these two artists can co-exist on the same release offers up the definition for what a split really is in its rawest form: simply two projects putting their music on opposite sides of one release. There was never any rule in place that said that genres had to be similar or the same, however, it seems unrealistic that many people out there would listen to one side and then flip to the other — which in itself is a fantastic example of what After Music Recordings claims to be all about. Regardless, Boy Dirt Car’s side is so central to what we cover here that this split demanded a write-up — and if the present music wasn’t proof enough of that, then their small gesture to the life of Peter Christopherson (Coil, Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV) was. Of interest to some may be the original artwork of the release which was done by one Josh Mead and Neil Young’s sister, Astrid Young.