On a drive down to Studio Economik to exchange a finicky Bryston power amp, Murray bought a 12 string guitar. While previously we’d dismiss the 12 string as fromaggio, this record has been busting out from all convention. Everything that’s old is fair game, things we’ve dissed now posess infinite possibility: Banjo: fine. Quirky peercussions, check. Face melting borderline metal guitar shredding: definitely. Vocoder: bring it. Chorus pedal: of course! Benvie’s rave synths: all over it. Anyway, and on and on.
So Murray calls Jason and asks him to find a 12 string electric guitar for rent in Montreal. And, classic Montreal, in the entire city there isn’t one: however we’ve long learned that this city does not have shopping or “customer first” among its list of strengths. Murray, while negotiating through St Henri, instructs Jason to hit the net. He finds one on eBay, in an auction ending in 45 minutes.
Looking back now I realise this was a little leap of faith: Jason’s never bought anything on eBay before, and we were in the car, internet-less. So I gave Jason an eBay crash course, my login info and sent him to the auction. We won the 70’s Univox custom 12 string hollow body electric guitar, from a very nice seller in Kentucky. Five days later, the fifth day being yesterday, it arrived at our house.
The UPS guy was hilarious. He asked: “Is this for you?” I said, “Yeah.” “You play guitar?” “Well, no it’s for my husband.” “What they didn’t have it at Steve’s?” “Uh, no it’s pretty particular.” I bet he’s a total weekend warrior.
The shipping box was stuffed with strips of shredded magazines, which Neptune loved absolutely. The guitar was in perfect condition, needing only a little tune up to cure some buzzing on one of the strings. Amazing. Last night Murray and Krief tracked it on a few songs; Murray described the experience of playing a solo on a 12 string like trying to wail on a bass guitar. Oh. But apparently it sounds great.
I seem to be saying this a lot: it sounds great, the album is amazing, incredible, mind-blowing, whatever, but really how else could I describe something so pure and real, something with an undeniable energy, channeled from the souls of a handful of musicians and written from the heart by one anointed composer? It feels like The Dears are The Dears again.