In the midst of the slowly maturing Internet Age, we as music fans can sometimes get tricked into assuming a market of perfect information. Thanks to the vast infinity of the social network, if a band is good, they get noticed, then they get big. Right? It's nice to think that way, if only because the idea of truly great band slipping through the cracks is disconcerting. How many Rock masterpieces could we have missed because nobody heard them? I urge you, reader, not to be complacent, because the media machine is massive, and, like any bureaucracy (which it is), inefficient.
Sitting at the juncture of two horribly ugly highways in western Virginia, Harrisonburg is a town famous for absolutely nothing, except local college JMU, sorta. Somehow, local group Lil Huffy have managed to prove that, between the overcast bosoms of a few grubby, green mountains, great rock can be born. The cover of the band’s new demo, Old Volvo, a stylized guitar pedal, pays tribute to a great American tradition no less significant in my mind than car culture or gun culture or whatever culture (stamps maybe?) – effects culture! Pedal culture! Texture rock culture! Sweet noisy Noise-Pop!
Peek through the tough veneer of masculine fuzz and you’ll find what may best be described as a band of sound dorks, joyously twisting knobs like any tinkering tech savant types code or ties wires. It’s not posturing or ego that drives them but pure obsession with the sound wave, from its messiest to its most linear. The songs themselves are class-A pop tunes, infused of course with plenty of Big-Muffin’ punch, but this is no average J. Mascis walk around the dingy block. The songs wax and wane, expand and contract, revealing a level of easy-handed complexity only achievable through years of practice at tunecraft. These are much more than just palettes for little screechy experiments.
The demo is available on the group’s bandcamp, name your price. Furthermore, they’ve been nominated for Washington indie magazine The Deli’s Artist of the Month Poll. I cast my vote for them. Give Old Volvo a listen and I think you’ll champing at the bit for a bit of civic gratification yourself.