See, our boy Beck is a “deep” artist that “nobody understands” because he recorded all these albums worth of (mostly acoustic) songs that will probably never see the light of day. Like this one, a collection of mostly psycho folk/blues recorded I don’t know when that has never at all seen the light of day, unless you count the completely out of place demo of “Loser” at the end.
Pretty much it shows Beck up to many of his pre-success tricks – apocalyptic lyrics, simple but somehow original acoustic guitar or banjo melodies, a great sense of humour, and a sense of a deep seeded, dead-milkmen-like hatred. It’s amazing none of this was released! I love this stuff!
See, unlike even other label releases like OFITG, Beck isn’t taking himself at all seriously here. He also strays from silly tape manipulation that makes himself sound annoying (except for a little fun at the end of the hilarious “Satan Was Way Cool”), and that annoying falsetto isn’t here at all either.
Instead we get some great early-Dylan-y stuff (“When The Water Will Take Back The Land”, “Ace Of Spades”), a couple things that ought to make you like like the aforementioned spoken-wordy “Satan Was Way Cool” (“and when they got too fat or too old, Satan helped them make the best possible career move – he killed them”) and “Blah Blah Blah Blah”, which butchers “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy” into a much better, much more Beck-y song and “Are You Positive”, an attack on those “be positive and everything will work out” people and books and things things. Then there’s a couple songs that do the ol’ “combine older music styles with ultra-modern lyrics” like the opener “Tough Fuckin’ Shit” and “Fuck You Up And Get High”. On the down side, there’s also a couple shitty banjo numbers that I get no enjoyment whatsoever out of, and a whole lot of somewhat nondescript songs that make me wonder why I liked this album so much the first time around. I think it’s the complete lack of pretentiousness and how much fun it sounds, and how anyone else I play it for tends to absolutely hate this stuff.
There’s also the demo of “Loser” – but you already knew that was great.