Monday, March 22, 2010
There is a band on Bar-None records called Mosquito's and that's not who this article is about, this article is about a very different band called The Mosquito's that has somewhat renewed my faith in the process of home-recording. It all started a few years back when I met this guy Ron Senet from New Hampshire through a friend of a friend. We hit it off right away and he even was Fairmont's roady for a few tours, Fairmont later wrote the album Transcendence based on Ron's upbringing in the Spiritualist church. It's a great story about talking to dead people through psychic mediums and an impending apocalypse but that is a different story.
Ron had always told me he refused to be in a band because he wasn't that good of musician compared to his roommates and because he felt like being around alcohol constantly and band type people would be a bad thing for him personally. Finally after a few years of knowing Ron I was introduced to this band. Their house was like the Manson family commune, an old farmhouse in Epping, NH. A lawn littered with broken down 1960's Volkswagons of all different varieties from bugs to vans. The house looked as though we had time traveled to the 1960's, there was only antiques, no modern conveniences and a record player in every room with stacks of vinyl everywhere. We ate peanuts and drank PBR as Ron showed us this house that all 4 bandmates lived in. The home was sort of a hostel for drifters but the band was the only constant proprietors. Of course we made our way into the room where the murder happened (knowing Ron it would be odd if he lived in a normal place where a murder hadn't happened). Don't worry though it was neither him or his bandmates who had committed this crime, it was long before they moved in. What better room in the house could be the practice and recording space. The band only used vintage gear, from organs and amps to the antique drum set and 60's guitar and bass. I had my doubts upon meeting them as to whether this odd group could make music.
It wouldn't be until another visit up to New Hampshire a few years later that Ron had joined the band as a bass player and I was finally going to see them play a real proper show at a venue. The band before them was typical of what I expected surf to sound like from a New Hampshire band, it was fast and loud and not very good. They had no technique and certainly were a far cry from The Ventures. However as The Mosquito's hit the stage I was floored as they started and it sounded live like someone had turned on a jukebox. Every sound, every note was reminiscent of the best parts of 60's surf. It wasn't just covers, it was original songs written and performed by this band that had carefully studied and meticulously constructed a band that was transplanted right from 1967 to 2009. Every piece of gear sounded perfect and excited me to no end to see a real live band that sonically could have existed in the 1960's. It blew my mind, they were just incredible, so imagine my excitement when just this year after I had heard the band was broken up they came out with a full length vinyl record.
There are very few Lo-Fi recordings that I find myself listening to over and over again because, well the quality just sucks and the hiss and thinness of instruments usually just doesn't sit well with me. However this band using a Tascam 4 track has managed to record a record that you would swear are was made in the 60's and was recorded with the care and technique that makes 60's garage rock and surf records one of my favorite things in the world. If a track from this record sat on a mix between The Sonics and The Shadows of Knight I wouldn't in the slightest notice a difference in the tones, execution and recording. I would think I was listening to something from my favorite era of music and I think that's why I feel this record is special, because it's new and fresh but with a familiarity that soothes and warms me. Even their surf cover of a GG Allen song makes for me the only time GG was ever listenable.
I have been in talks with The Mosquito's for awhile now trying to get my hand on their recordings to release through Mint 400 and it may or may not happen but in the meantime I encourage you to try to get their record if you are a fan of 60's surf. I believe one can find it sporadically in random record stores that carry vinyl in the New England area or by emailing the band at their myspace site at www.myspace.com/themosquitosnh .