Music Review: Reports “Mosquito Nets”
Ah, this is a breath of fresh air. Hailing from Providence Rhode Island, Reports is the brainchild of Martin Pavlinic and whoever else he can get to join him for a recording session or the rare live show. The debut album, “Mosquito Nets”, is the result of (mostly) one fervent day of recording and six months leisurely tinkering and twiddling about with the tapes. The result is echo-drenched and fuzzed out trip down 90’s style indie rock memory lane.
At its best, there’s a casual, “huh, I wasn’t expecting that to happen” spontaneous to the feeling, as if the band just started jamming and all found the same grove then ran with it, rather than over thinking or over engineering the whole process. There’s an offhandedness to the whole affair, like they’d told themselves if it’s broken in the studio, we’ll patch it upon the mixing board so let’s not sweat it too much. It’s a spark that’s sadly missing from too much of today’s music.
At its quietest the pop moments are reminiscent of Providence’s early 90’s Small Factory, and its most raging blasts off like early Dinosaur Jr, harkening back to a time where fuzzed out and improvisational lead guitar didn’t have to stand mutually apart from indie. The bulk of the work manages to fuse the best fuzzed out garage aesthetic from the sixties side by side with Wedding Present meets Ben Lee vocal delivery. “Quarters” begins with over-amplified, nearly clipping bassline that seems to take inspiration from Queen’s Flash Gordon with a dash of the theme from the Monkees tossed in for good measure before the trebly, near staccato guitar lines jump in to give the bounce some direction. “Radio” starts with a simple drumbeat you’ve heard a million times before, until the distortion’s turned up on the cymbals, giving it a slightly out of the loop AM radio feel to it. Both tracks are, if not a call to arms, then a friendly cajoling to put down the backpack, uncross your arms and get on the dance floor to shake it for a few.
The only tune that doesn’t work for me here is the ponderous “Outside“. With its minimalist instrumentation and far off in the background vocals, it comes off too much like the “Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory” Guided By Voices and try as I might, I can never get too into that style.
Reports “Mosquito Nets” can be in your grubby mitts one of two ways. You can download the album as a zip file at inman street records for a recommended $5 donation or you can purchase one of 250 hand-screened lps from the band directly at papercities.