Thursday, April 14, 2016
Butterglory Are You Building a Temple in Heaven? Merge 1996
Throughout Butterglory's lifespan, it was focused around the duo of Matt Suggs and Debby Vander Wall, Californians who transplanted to Lawrence, KS after this album was recorded. They've had different players, but their sloppy lo-fi pop songs are primarily due to those members.
This LP represents the California version of the band when they were at their best. Like all their work, it sounds an awful lot like Pavement, but unlike the following album, Rat Tat Tat, it's much more obvious that Butterglory's sound developed independently of Pavement, the end result just happens to be similar, but, since Pavement got more popular, Butterglory gets dubbed a sound-alike.
Pavement took a lot of cues from Sonic Youth whereas Butterglory had a lot more Velvet Underground worship and if you listen hard enough, they even had jazz moves. Listening to this album, you sense that if given the chance, Butterglory would have made a huge sounding rock record, they just didn't have the budget to do so. The big riffs on "On Button On", make it pretty obvious, this band dreamed of a bigger sound, but without the means, you get the plaintive vocals and simple production. You end up with a lot of lo-fi cuteness, but still a great album.
On Button On