Review : Comet Gai - Broken Record Prayers
TinymixtapesCobbled together in 1992 and sustained in shifting incarnations since, Comet Gain have always evinced a confident timelessness. David Charlie Christian Feck presses on, and for Broken Record Prayers he’s united, with no immediate warrant, sundry singles recorded between 1997 and 2007. The outcome is a 70-minute behemoth, a sprawling, desultory, but variously touching apparatus of melancholy and empowerment that, on the level of thematics, enshrines an indie-pop umbrella logic — daydreams, desperation, defeat — and articulates it in a wide range of idioms.
In other words, Comet Gain trades in universals and mounts a compelling archaeological case for pop’s debt to (or at least kinship with) an entire lineage of lovers’ rock departing from Northern soul and the numinous American garage. Variety abounds. Surprises don’t, but that’s fine; the flourishes of omnivory are more subdued this time than in the crew’s mid-period output — such as Réalistes, which can easily secrete the odor of affectation — and Feck occasionally strikes gold. His programmatic nostalgia is spread thick, to be sure; the liner notes read, “We believe in obsolete things and passionate hearts and still do and made these records from our hearts to yours for whatever it was and still is and could be.” More to the point, though, is the extent to which Broken Record Prayers, for all its aggressive sincerity, seizes on the collective aspect of cultural production, cataloging those commonalities and shared repertoires on which the scene effect fundamentally rests. More than ever, Comet Gain addresses interpersonal, transactional experience in a decidedly unstylized way....full text
PitchforkComet Gain are one of the most underrated contemporary indie bands in the UK. Although in the 16 years since their inception they've never made major waves outside the DIY indie community (although those waves stretched far and wide-- the band is also well-loved in the U.S. and France), they have gained a fierce following of music lovers who seem to share their passion for Orange Juice, Anna Karina, old typewriters, George Orwell, Dexys Midnight Runners, and, above all else, vinyl. Like their riot-grrrl peers (guitarist Jon Slade was a founding member of Huggy Bear), this band doesn't distinguish art from life, and has stuck to its collective passion at all costs-- namely, relative obscurity. As the photograph on the cover of Broken Record Prayers states, in black marker scrawled on the back of a woman's hand, "Dreams Never End". This is Comet Gain's motto-- a dogma that has been declared throughout the years by vocalist/guitarist David Feck, and which they act on wholeheartedly....full text
DustedmagazineThe crush of quotes in the liner notes of Comet Gain’s new singles/rarities compilation Broken Record Prayers reads entirely ‘90s, predating the studied minimalism of our Facebook profiles. The band compiled bon mots from their favorite writers and musicians with yearbook earnestness, the same frankness that led Comet Gain’s David Feck to sing “We found the sound of the underground and we felt so proud to be underground,” on “Ballad of a Mixtape.” It’s the language of zines, of un-ironic confessions that punk saves lives but fails to change the world.
There’s a weird circularity playing with Comet Gain’s re-emergence: the kids at the record store had never heard of them before their recent flurry of singles; the prior generation that ran college radio think of CG fondly, when they think of them at all. Comet Gain can’t help but seem a pre-internet band, one still from the era of zines and brick-and-mortar record stores, sharing your finds with your best friends and thinking yourselves the first to have discovered whoever. And now, yet again, with pretty much every record ever at anyone’s fingertips, with no one playing rock harboring the illusion that they’ve hit on something new, the sound of the underground reaches back to the Television Personalities or the Velvets or whoever first realized that pop and not-knowing-how-to-play-guitar-but-playing-loud-anyway made sense together – or, more importantly, that this sound works as a perfect vector for honesty....full text
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