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The Singles Collection - Teenage Lovers, City Center, Jeffrey Novak

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The Singles Collection is contributor Jason Jackowiak’s weekly column focusing on rare and essential 7″ releases. We gladly accept all types of 7″ for consideration.

It's Easter week and we're back to business as usual 'round here at The Singles Collection. Hopefully you enjoyed last week's video sojourn into the realm of Sacred Bones, one of our favorite labels, but it's back to doing what we love around here, mainly, giving you the scoop on 45's that are currently rocking our world (and that we think will rock yours). So without further adieu -- and so we can all get to our Cadbury Creme Eggs as quickly as possible -- let's get to it.

Starting us off this week we've got the debut single from Max of the Smith Westerns' side-project, Teenage Lovers, "Number One" b/w "I Wanna Be Your Boy" on Randy Records. Operating in a similar style to his main gig, here he unleashes a pair of three-minute pop firebombs about being a 19-year old virgin, which, cringe-worthy as that sounds, are actually both ace tunes that crackle with the energy of someone that's bedded as many women as, say, Gene Simmons. Much as its title implies, A-Side "Number One" finds him pining for the girl who will be his very first, but rather than wallow in mawkish pity, the song seethes infectious energy from every pore, riding an absolute gnarled monster of a riff and jabbing with enough sucker punch hooks to put anyone that dare mention his virginity flat on their ass. On the flip, "I Wanna Be Your Boy" utilizes some absolutely blistering, frothing guitar work to counterbalances its saccharine sentiments to keep it from becoming another woe-is-me tale of unrequited teen lust, instead channeling that teen vitriol into a stomping, power-pop romp that will have them lined up around the corner to get them a piece. These should still we widely available both directly from the label and at the usual distros and record emporiums.

Next up is City Center's "Because" b/w "Water Message" & "White Shoes" on Party Nogg!. For those who might be unfamiliar, City Center is Fred Thomas' (of Saturday Looks Good to Me & Lovesick fame) new outfit, and while it might get us lynched, we dare say it's the best thing he's ever done/been a part of. The duo's sound is a difficult thing to put into words, but imagine if you will an echo-laden psych-jam between Gary Numan and Kevin Shields taking place underwater and on arcane analog equipment and you are starting to get an idea of the headspace they occupy. This 3-song 7" is filled with epic, sky-scraping songwriting that gets filtered and FX'd into a gorgeous, blissed-out oblivion that, truly, sounds like nothing else on the planet. At times the sheer sonic euphoria can be disorientating, and "Water Message" is headphone music of the highest order, but so long as you've got a comfy chair, you can ride with them into the candy-coated abyss. Their singles don't stick around for long, but if you email the label, they should still have a few left for immediate consumption.

Last but certainly not least this week we've got the first 7" from Cheap Time frontman Jeffrey Novak, "Three Sisters" b/w "Home Sweet Home" on Jay Reatard's recently resurrected Shattered Records imprint. This little platter follows hot on the heels of his well-received debut LP After the Ball, and damned if this pair of psych-pop gems aren't every bit as good as the material on the full-length, maybe even edging out a few tracks that were included amongst the running order. The real shining star here though is the A-Side, a whirligig psych-romp that reminds of the Kinks' Village Green, albeit with a frazzled southern flair and knotty 8-Track charisma that makes it absolutely irresistible. The flip is a slow waltzing charmer that, while not as immediate as its counterpart, nevertheless, it remains a more than worthy addition to Novak's ever-growing canon. These are pretty much gone, but if you act quick, Goner Records should have the last few copies of this for sale now

That's all for this week, kiddies, but not to fret, because after we've gotten all gussied up in our best pastels and eaten our weight in jellybeans and peanut butter eggs we'll be back with more mind-melting tunes for your 'tables.

The Singles Collection - Teenage Lovers, City Center, Jeffrey Novak