The Organ – Sinking Hearts EP

So, I was on the Queen streetcar riding home last night, and the streetcar at 9:30 on a Tuesday night is always a fairly somber place, filled with people who look like they’d rather be dead or sleeping, and around Yonge street these six fairly attractive (except for the one fattie who was, of course, the one who revealed the most skin), young (I’d peg them at 18 average), somewhat sluttily dressed, very drunk girls filed on and spent the next ten minutes laughing loudly, talking loudly, stealing each other’s chairs loudly, and announcing to everyone that it was one of their birthdays. Around Psdina they got off, yelling at everyone “bye” and to have a great night. After they left the car was completely silent until, oddly enough, I shrugged and laughed in the direction of the British guy sitting next to me. And this set off a torrent of insults from the other passengers, who obviously felt a little less ugly and depressed for having someone to hate besides themselves again. “Their IQs together are less than 100” added one man who looked like a cross between Albert Einstein and Ron Jeremy with two extra shots of disgruntled. Whatever, you know where this is going: I think the real stupidity here is in those who’re so pathetic they have to resent others being young and enjoying themselves. These girls weren’t bitchy, they were just really happy to be going wherever they were going. I don’t fault them for it, and maybe three years ago I would have, but now that I’m older but not yet old I can this and smile at it, because the world needs more people to be out enjoying their lives. And the streetcar was filled with bastards who would ruin that because they’re bitter they’ll never get to fuck any of them (not even the fat one) and I think they should be ashamed.

So The Organ is a group of five girls from Vancouver Canada that sound like this: wah-wah-menstruation-wah-wah-men-wah-wah-wah. Sometimes in between they play a few notes when they’re not too busy washing the glass ceili-

So The Organ are a group of four Canadian girls who basically sounds like everyone’s favourite mope-gaze 80s group The Smiths but!

a) The lead singer is a female, though still Morrissey.
b) There’s an organ (surprise!) somewhere in the middle-range production of every song.
c) This EP is produced horribly, so it’s much harder to notice when they actually come up with a good riff or riddim.
d) Morrissey was sometimes, you know, poetic, whereas a typical lyric from here goes “oh I think I’m falling / oh I think I’m fine / our hearts didn’t come together / But I saw the two collide.”

The good news is that the organ (instrument, not band) works really well with the whole aesthetic (especially in “No One Has Ever Looked So Dead”). The bad news is that the production somewhat ruins it, and four of these six songs can be found in better form on the album. The other two are “We Have Got To Meet” which I can’t remember even though I just heard it but only has one line in the whole song, so I’m guessing it can be described as a “repetitive, Smiths-y drone”, and “It’s Time To Go”, which features an actual catchy guitar riff but never really gets going past it’s dreariness.

Similarly, no song on this EP gets going at all, preferring to stay in the same slow-tempo mildly-depressed-o-land, and that really prevents any of the songs from becoming memorable (aside from the title track), but also stops any of them from being really bad. Aside, of course, from the hilarious “There Is Nothing I Can Do”, which I really have to reproduce in lyrical form:

“My neck hurts, ’cause I’ve been cutting moons
My hands hurt, ’cause I cut them from you
So someone snuck into your room
And it got back to me
Now, I lie here in my room
And there is nothing I can do
But cut and think about you”

HAHA! LOSERS! We laugh because we’re not 16 anymore. Hey, remember Jann Arden, who had a single called “Insensitive”, but was fat? Yeah, why do you think he was insensitive, you overweight waste of (a lot of) space? What about being sensitive to his need to have a girlfriend, not some hambeast?

6/10

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The Organ – Grab That Gun

Spleen! Eheheh, I’m funny. Speaking of guns, I love the concept of Chekhov’s Gun. It goes something like this: if you’re going to have a gun in a story, someone had better fire it by the end. This may sound useless, but it comes up more often than you might think. Every time there’s a seemingly useless detail in a movie or somesuch that you just know will come up at the end, that’s Chekhov’s Gun. For example, in a whodunnit, when they introduce someone’s uncle or family friend for no good reason you can be sure that they’ll turn out to be the murderer, or at least cannon fodder, because if it’s a character it must have a reason to be such. Or, for another example, it’s how you just know that at the end of Sex and the City Carrie will get married in her vintage dress mentioned about ten minutes into the movie. Speaking of which, here are some things I learned from that movie:

1. Things with brand names on them genuinely make you happy.
2. Friends are nice too, but secondary.

Now, I don’t really object to being made happy by things – I LOVE my iPod, laptop, orange shoes etc etc but! I love them for their functional reasons. I feel as though liking a Gucci bag not because it’s sleek but because of its name is somehow a symptom of a rotten obsession with oneupmanship and commodities, and while it’s perhaps unavoidable because we all need to be better than those around us, it shouldn’t be flouted as a positive convention by a movie that will be viewed by millions and millions of people, particularly young women who should be judged on how much they weigh, not what they’re carrying. Furthermoresomely, I’d always thought, through the series, that part of the point of the clothes was that the characters were expressing themselves through what they wore. Ditching that aesthetic in favour of idle brand name clothing (aside from the cheesy last scene) is Liz Phair-level abandonment of ideals. Also, Charlotte’s the only hot one – it must suck to be an aging woman!

But seriously, the movie had too few charming moments, and far too many disappointing missteps: namely, the puns were excruciating, the token subaltern minority character a joke of a storyline idea (and wasn’t her subplot sure resolved quickly), the deus ex machina style of resolution – whence the camaraderie among the main characters seeing them through difficult times? what happened to the actually funny dialogue? Why did they include “There Is Nothing I Can Do” again? The first lines of it are “My neck hurts / ’cause I’ve been cutting moons / My hands hurt / ’cause I cut them from you” for fucking out loud! Oh, but now they give it “moody” production in the intro, so we can feel their pain! woooo!

But really, that’s the only bad song here, which is good because there are only ten others, only three of which crack three minutes, and one of which is a thirty second organ solo. It’s generally very good shoegaze-y, Smithsy pop, with only the odd terrible moment, and a nice air of love-obsessed sadness. It’s repetitive in tone and gist, but the organ and delivery give it a vaguely church-y hopeless feel that stops it from getting too tiresome. The best songs are the war-inspired “Brother,” home to the album’s first and best hook, “Love Love Love,” home to the album’s best love-obsessed hopelessness, and “Memorize The City,” home to the album’s paean to my dear home city, although I suppose it could apply to your stupid city too. “Sinking Hearts” is still good, but you knew that because you read my classy “Sinking Hearts EP” review that featured my memorable “Jann Arden is fat” line that got so much good press on my recent trip to New York City.

Best of all, they broke up in 2006, so this review is completely behind the times and pointless! Somewhat highly recommended!

8/10