This two song single features the title track and "Fields Are Breathing (Tobacco's Wispy Version)". "Zodiac Girls" is one of their funkier numbers: A minimal but groovin' electric bass part is present, the synths seem to split the difference between the band's usual tones and ones that could almost sound at home on a Prince
album, and Tobacco has toned down the vocoder just enough that it doesn't sound like just another instrument. "Fields Are Breathing", meanwhile, is their most soothing track yet: It would show up on Eating Us
with a more complex arrangement, but here it's just Tobacco's relatively subdued vocoder, a simple but pretty acoustic guitar part that for once doesn't sound like it was recorded off a warped cassette, and just a touch of mellotron. "Zodiac Girls" shows up in this exact form on Drippers
, but this version of "Fields Are Breathing" isn't available anywhere else and is significantly different enough from the Eating Us
take to make this worth seeking out.
Fields Are Breathing (Tobacco's Wispy Version)
I'm not sure of the origins of everything here, but I am pretty sure this is a collection of miscellaneous rarities and outtakes: it starts off with "Zodiac Girls" again, "Happy Melted City", "We Are The Pagans" and "Changing You All" from Extra Flavor
are also included here, "I Saw Brown" is subtitled "Pre-BSMR From 1999", and "Just For The Night" is apparently BSMR's remix of a Laura Burhenn song.
As much as I do enjoy this band's signature sound, I also end up pretty intrigued when they do something outside of it: "I Saw Brown" is a pretty strange early track - the even tinnier than usual drum machine, incredibly out of tune guitar, and silly vocal manipulations all suggest they were heavily influenced by Ween
's Pure Guava
early on. It's also strange in an entirely different way to hear them collaborate with the throaty-voiced Laura Burhenn on what's basically a soulful ballad: the piano and bass keep the song grounded in early 60's R And B, while the trademark loud, spacy synths add to the dreamy atmosphere of the song rather than detract from it. Thus, "Just For The Night" is one of my favorite things to show up on a BSMR album simply for how un-BSMR it is. The rest of the EP is more in line with their usual sound, but there's still some highlights: I particularly like "Black Yogurt", which has an excellent bassline courtesy of Mike Watt
, and "One Day I Had An Extra Toe", which is another fine example of BSMR in space-age pop mode.
Zodiac Girls, One Day I Had An Extra Toe, Black Yogurt, Just For The Night