Video Shoppe / Nostalgia Trap(s) / August 7, 2018
RIYL: Joy Division, vaporwave, New Order (the darker stuff)
Based in Providence, R.I., Video Shoppe, a duo featuring Tavis MacLeod and Michael Kelley, is one of my favorite DIY bands on the East Coast right now. I saw them live this spring when we split a bill at AS220; they headlined, and they brought old TVs with them, on which they played weird footage of 90s aerobic videos pockmarked with static fuzz. That might have read as cliched and uninteresting if they were a weaker band. Not so here–the whole thing was a treat, as is their new EP, Nostalgia Trap(s).
This record starts strong with the steady, crunchy build of “Straight to the Heart (7877),” on which is sung “I am the wheel / I am the chain I am the chain / This is the ash” and gets even weirder from there. This is an adventurous EP, full of texture and richness, from the lyrical content to the droning guitar to the nice New Order-esque riffs.
Good records (and good storytelling) leave the reader with evidence that leaves them searching for more links to connect, more story to absorb. That’s how I feel about this one. On “The Gate,” we hear the lyrics “The gate will open for no one. The loop is closing. It will happen again.” I love the mystery and suggestion of that. Too many writers tell and don’t show; this record was clearly written to show, and it does. You get to do some of the telling on your own, which not enough writers have confidence to let their listeners do these days.