Two of the finest tracks on Mac DeMarco's new EP, Rock and Roll Nightclub, aren't even songs at all. "96.7 The Pipe" and "106.2 The Breeze" are authentic-sounding recreations of (fictitious) radio station call sign bumpers -- and they are screamingly funny. You can't help but laugh when DeMarco's voice, dripping in Robitussin, menacingly growls over a smoove 'n' sexy groove, "You're rockin' straight through midnight with me, Dojo Daniel, on 96.7 The Pipe." These moments are a gigantic wink and nod to the fact that the whole Mac DeMarco persona is just that: a ruse, but a damn good and convincing one. The fidelity of these recordings hovers just above twice-dubbed cassette quality, but that's a high compliment to DeMarco's dedication to the fantasy world he has taken great pains to construct. It's a world of alleys lit by garish neon, downtown streets dotted with fast girls, smeared lipstick... glorious, glamorous sleaze. "Meet me on the dancefloor, let me shake my thing," slurs DeMarco in the title track, and it's a testament to his charm as a singer -- somewhere between a drunken Elvis Presley and Buffalo Bill -- that we feel seduced rather than disgusted at his invitation. The single that preceded Nightclub, "Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans," is a long, lecherous look at girls on corners wearing tight pairs of Lees and Wranglers. DeMarco's sonic landscape of warm tape hiss and hazy lines about pure, gritty love is intoxicating, fleshed out by tinny, chiming electric guitar work that will be familiar to fans of labelmates Beach Fossils or Wild Nothing. But listeners who thrilled to the recent reissue of Martin Newell's Songs for a Fallow Land will also appreciate DeMarco's aesthetic and craftsmanship, while fans of Ariel Pink will be grateful for more groovy, moody pop songs. And for those amongst our customers who were intrigued by Tonetta's records but put off by the, um, lewdness of the man's lyrics, DeMarco provides a similar sound without the explicit lyrical content.
-Michael Stasiak (April 5, 2012)
Track Preview 1
Track Preview 2