Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Films Ditch Label, Debut America

The native South Carolinians will release their debut album Don't Dance Rattlesnake in the U.S. on September 25th. The album was released in the U.K. back in June, at which time there was no scheduled date for a U.S. release. Apparently it took ditching their label to do it.

The jangly indie-rock quartet aren't exactly a mainstream rock band. Still, Warner Bros. navigation of the band's career seems naive at best (and vastly asinine in all probability). The Films are radio-friendly, lyrically clever and, well, let's just say their looks aren't exactly holding them back, either. A three-month wait for a U.S. release, from a U.S. band, is absurd. Even apart from the U.K., Don't Dance Rattlesnake is also currently available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Japan. So why no U.S. release?

Ostensibly, the band got tired of asking the same question, so they've split from Warner Bros. and are releasing the album on their own. Now, that is fooking impressive. When is the last time you've heard of a band telling a major label to shove it? Especially a band that at this point, and no doubt partly because of said label's mismanagement, is currently under-the-radar? That takes balls.

And so to their musical talents we add an old-school, punk rock sensibility -- not so much inyourface as it is enveloped in a southern gentility. What could have been publicized drama for other bands has instead become a simple by-product of The Films' musical goals. Their concern is the music, and releasing it, finally, in the U.S. It will be interesting to see how the album is received, by critics as well as the masses. Something to look for in the future . . .

You can listen to The Films at their Myspace page, and pre-purchase Don't Dance Rattlesnake here. The first 1000 orders will receive a limited-edition copy of the album, which includes companion album HORSEFORCE!, an acoustic reworking of ten of the songs from DDR, plus one bonus track. More about HORSEFORCE! straight from The Films' blog:
"the label" wanted us to go to a studio and make acoustic versions of all the songs on the record. since we are not big fans of "boring", we instead decided to rearrange the songs and make completely different versions of them embracing the theory that 'a good song is a good song no matter how you arrange it'. we sped up some of the slow ones, slowed down some of the fast ones, changed the instruments up, and basically did whatever we wanted to mess with the arrangements and still do justice to the songs.
Check out the video for "Black Shoes" below, and have a listen to "Belt Loops" in Aural Laurels in the side menu. Also, for a more in-depth analysis of The Films' sound, see my review of "Belt Loops," written for a Welsh music 'zine in early June.

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