Tabs Out | New Standards Men – I Was a Starship

New Standards Men – I Was a Starship

6.12.20 by Ryan Masteller

We’re not going to have great ensemble music for a while, I reckon. What with self-isolation and social distancing, who’s gonna get together for band practice? Who’s gonna tour a full band around the country? Who’s gonna allow anybody in a studio? It’s all up in the air right now.

So we grasp what we can. Did I say “instant classic”? If not, New Standards Men’s “I Was a Starship” is an instant classic, a loaded t-shirt cannon aimed in the face of a superfan, and once that trigger’s pulled, there’s no amount of lawsuits or settlements that will make things go back to the way they were. In fact, just suggesting that you listen to this is going to probably set me up for multiple lawsuits. (I have no idea why I have lawsuits on the mind lately – I tend to be a sue-r, not a sue-ee [insert “Deliverance” joke here].)

That’s because “I Was a Starship” is road music for a series of fatal car crashes shot by Lost Highway–era David Lynch. It’s stoner metal and prog and the deepest, darkest lounge all smooshed together like auto wreckage in a trash compactor. Imagine Tonstartssbandht listening to a bunch of Bohren, or Explosions in the Sky getting their Sleep on. But all at once. AND WITH NO GALL-DANG VOCALS. What, you’re gonna mess up this mood with some jibber-jabber? I dare you to. I DARE you.

NSM is a quintet this time around, the core members of Drew Bissell and Jeremy Brashaw joined by Personal Archives’ own Bob Bucko Jr., Ike Turner, and Luke Tweedy (no, not THAT Ike Turner – he died in 2007). “I Was a Starship” is three tracks this time around (and forever), each an eleven-plus-minute jam sesh that finds the players in total kraut lockstep as they stretch and evolve ideas. And it’s loud – you can really crank this sucker up! So if you’re looking into your crystal ball and see a future bereft of awesome records from bands (my friend John: “Next year’s records are going to be the worst”), circle back to “I Was a Starship,” and flip 2021 right off (god, I can’t believe I’ve already given up on 2021 too).

Plus, the artwork. You see that octopus? *chef’s kiss* That’s courtesy of Daria Tessler/animalsleepstories.

Did I also mention that ol’ Warren Defever of His Name Is Alive fame mastered this thing at Third Man Pressing, home to human vampire bat Jack white of Edward Scissorhands fame? Now you know.

Edition of 100 out now on Personal Archives!

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