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It Was Hot, We Stayed In The Water

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Album Review

On their third album It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water, the Microphones present more delicate, almost folky melodies wrapped up in and surrounded by waves of droning, distorted guitars and organs. The naïve, psychedelic experimentalism and girl-boy vocals on songs like "Between Your Ear and the Other Ear" and "The Glow" sound uncannily like an update of Eric's Trip; indeed, the Microphones pay homage to that band with a cover of "Sand." "Karl Blau" borrows the melody of "Blue Moon," "The Gleam" calls to mind some of the Swirlies' early work and Pet Sounds-worthy harmonies abound, but the Microphones' appropriations always feel like tributes instead of a lack of originality, and only add to It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water's distinctive mix of noise and beauty.

Customer Reviews

Too Good

I found out about this band about 4 years ago. What an amazing find! People don't know….

It's no Glow pt. 2, but it's still a solid record

Phil Elvrum (the man behind The Microphones and Mount Eerie) is yet to release anything as massive, emotional, beautiful, or hands down amazing as The Glow Pt. 2. That being said, his other releases (most of them, anyway) are still enjoyable. This particular record, the predecessor to 2001's TGP2, provides a bit of foreshadow towards the sound of TGP2. Unpredictability, vague lyricism, emotions, first person narration, bursts of drones and abrasive guitars, and subtle, beautiful folk songs. On this record, Elvrum doesn't give you what you want to hear. He gives you what he wants to hear. Guitars out of tune, off-key vocals, drone bits, and a song featuring three minutes of abrasive drums (appropriately title, "Drums"). Although not preferable, the things Elvrum does that put me off edge make the record better, and make it an Elvrum record.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Microphones was the alias of Anacortes, WA-based lo-fi psych-pop mastermind Phil Elvrum, also known for his work as a member of K Records bands D+ and Old Time Relijun. Following a series of cassettes on the local Knw-Yr-Own label, including Wires and Cords, Tests, and a self-titled effort, the Microphones issued their first full-length effort, also titled Tests, on the Elsinor label in the autumn 1999. Don't Wake Me Up appeared on K the next summer, followed in 2000 by Window and It Was Hot...
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