Everything Is Bullshit
Particle Kid/Gnar Tapes
One of two Particle Kid albums ripped out in the same year, Everything Is Bullshit is a strange world of magic. It reminds me of One Foot In The Grave-era Beck, not so much for the sound as for the surprises. It’s as wilful as Neil Young and Willie Nelson (the title track) – which is no real surprise of course and there are moments that sound like early Mothers of Invention (How Is She So Awesome??) and the playful pop of Zappa (Another Clean World) or at least the more recent bands that have connected with that style like Fergus & Geronimo.
It’s the best kind of Record Collection Pop – you’ll hear woozy, bluesy, Byrds-ian throwbacks to terrific acid-drenched 60s folk-pop psych-outs (Myssus Crow) and silly, charming throwaways that sound like Eels and Tom Waits and Daniel Johnston all at once (Really Big Fan).
Particle Kid is the solo work of Micah Nelson – one of the wunderkind sons of Willie, and a regular employee of Neil Young (working with his brother Lukas as part of The Promise of the Real). Particle Kid arrived via a throwaway line from Willie that is every bit as charming, silly and magical as the music contained here. Meaning to refer to Micah as the Prodigal Son, a stoned (surprise, surprise) Willie only managed the words, “Here he is…The Particle Kid”.
The title track here doesn’t quite have the hook of Beck’s Loser but it has something more gritty and biting beneath its overt dumbness.
From there, we rip across 11 more songs in just over a half-hour and feel like we’re eavesdropping on the best demos (Horses), including some lithe instrumentals (Little Gremlins, Hot Chocolate Tinsley Jig).
Lukas and Micah are both making vital music – whether together, alone, or together in support of Neil Young’s vision. But loosely summarised: Lukas is the rootsy one, Micah’s the arty one. So you’ll hear bits and pieces of tape-loop and bedsit experimentation here. You’ll hear him sounding like Syd Barrett and Thom Yorke and David Byrne and, well, any mad genius you want to hear.
Shit this is good. So very, very good. So fun. So close to falling over. And yet it’s all held together by some genuine smarts, some actual homespun genius.
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