The music of Mt. Wilson repeater sounds like it's about to swerve off a cliff. The songs lurch drunkenly into the night with rambling, off-kilter rhythms, glitchy digital textures and the occasional, dizzying slide guitar. The band says it sounds like "chimps smashing laptops for birthday cake." Whatever that means, it all makes for some delicious ear-candy on the band's self-titled debut album, out now on Eastern Fiction records.
Mt. Wilson Repeater is a solo side project for Radar Bros. frontman Jim Putnam. He played all the instruments on the new album and recorded it at his Phase IV Intergalactic Recording studio. Mt. Wilson Repeater is a mostly instrumental album. What vocals Putnam does offer are more like colorful accents to the vibrant sonic landscape.
There's nothing particularly somber or celebratory about Mt. Wilson Repeater. The songs just sort of hang out, kicking back on lazy, warm afternoons. On the second track, "Out Country Way," Putnam simply sings, "While I wait here at home for you, I'll sit and wait here at home for you," repeating the lines over and over. But Putnam does through in some whistled melodies, handclaps and found sounds like kids playing that make the album overall very carefree and uplifting.
"The inspiration (for the album) came when I crashed my plane into this orange grove in San Bernadino," says Putnam on his Website. "My cat and I were on our way to visit some friends in the desert, but we ran out of fuel. There was a clog in the fuel line. I had to dump the rest and 'go for the grove' as they say in flight school. I wasn't scared, though. I knew I would make an album."