Bridgetown #74

John Thill
D.E.A. Fires

A veteran of the California and North Carolina DIY scene, John Thill's recorded output over the past decade was crucial to the development of a contemporary form of underground folk music that is immediately relatable to our current generation. A staple of the home-taper underground, Thill's extensive discography features dozens of off-kilter concept albums on seminal labels such as the legendary Shrimper Records (Woods, The Mountain Goats, Amps for Christ, Wckr Spgt), Not Not Fun (as Quem Quaeritis) and Unread Records (Simon Joyner, Charlie McAlister) before touring the USA with Abe Vigoda in 2007 and disappearing into the Napa Valley just a few years later.

John Thill's dark and comic obsession with traffic, smog, strip malls, pop radio, subcultures and other daily trivialities are crucial ingredients to his dystopian, comedic tales about painfully real characters that have invaded his life ranging from cholos, mall goths, speed freaks, sluts and middle class white guys who hate their jobs. Figments of his imagination and true reality blur together within the outlandishly plausible settings he conjures such as a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles when gasoline supplies are dried up, and these characters become all too real within the context of his poetic narratives.

"D.E.A. Fires" is Thill's first full-length written since his departure from Southern California, and continues his legacy of blending high-brow concept art with bad ideas that have been taken just far enough to still be flawlessly executed. The 10 song album satirizes the laidback culture of illicit farmers in Northern California, ponchos as a fashion statement, psychedelic mysticism and hippie lifestyle with lyrical aplomb. In classic Thill form, his exuberant vocals hush, bellow and snarl over graceful chords and subtle ringing harmonics strummed from an abused classical guitar.
C37 cassette · 10 songs · June 2012 · Napa, CA

Edition of 100 pro-duplicated chrome cassettes with full-color labels and doublesided printing on heavyweight gloss stock.