Makeout Videotape – Eyeballing

EYEBALLING Cover ArtA few people I’ve talked to love this band, and likely empathize with my feelings that they are truly a hidden gem in modern music. Whether they are really hidden or not is debatable (they have gotten national press in Exclaim!, and are as far as I know signed to the well-thought-of Unfamilliar  Records). Regardless of these things, their moniker seems to be carrying a ball and chain; I think a lot of people (might) loath them, or at least “not get it”. It is really no surprise though; the immature art work, endless non-chalant live performances, oozing with crude and cheeky humor, and peculiar and particular lyrical subject all fortify the image that Makeout Videotape is nothing but one huge inside-joke. This actually might be true for the band members, namely frontman Mac DeMarco (who’s name is synonymous with the project,) despite these hinderances, the music itself is pure gold.

I remember years ago in Macs first year with MV being an active project, he joked “it’s funny that hipsters think my music is cool, I’ve tricked them into liking blues rock!”. If you listen to MV’s most recent release Ying Yang, you will likely not draw any parallels with what you know as blues rock, but when the band was first starting out, this self-comparison rang a little more accurate. Compiled and released in November last year, Eyeballing is a collection of all the early MV originals and “demos” that never saw release anywhere else but myspace (if at all). Although the comparison to blues rock is not entirely kosher (this ain’t GT & the Destroyers), the chugaluggling guitar riffs that drives the first track “For Sara” and other songs on the album are analogous. MV is known for their gritty recording quality, but nothing they have ever recorded since these tracks have truly encaptured the title of “lo-fi”. Recorded on God knows what (a single stereo casette recorder/ all-in-one radio), these tracks sound more blown out than the communication box at the entrance to your artsy friends inner-city apartment. The rancid but beautiful guitar intro in “Expensive Supper” has a certain warbling magic that makes me feel like a young kid experiencing the world for the first time. The same magic can be found all over this collection, but I say this as someone who (thinks he’s) in on the elaborate inside-joke that is Makeout Videotape. There’s only one way to find out if you too are susceptible to the magic.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Mac Demarco – Rock & Roll Night Club | ARGUE JOB

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