Monday, January 23, 2012

Rations - How Much Land Does a Man Need? 7"

'His servant picked up the spade and dug a grave long enough for Pahom to lie in, and buried him in it. Six feet from head to his heels was all he needed'

Rations are a Long Island NY punk group, and How Much Land Does a Man Need? is their second release. I've actually struggled to think about things to talk about in this review, as I hadn't previously heard of this band nor do I know too much about the style of music they play. Nonetheless, since receiving this 7" a little over a week ago I've played it about 3 times a day, every day.

The 5 songs here consist of mid-paced and well-defined punk music with a strong melodic edge. Some might (loosely) call it pop-punk, but I personally don't see too much of a pop aesthetic in these songs. Regardless, the 7" shows great musicianship and while the songs themselves are not compositionally complex, they are absolutely not generic. Perhaps we should avoid my shitty descriptions and let you all hear it for yourselves - you can stream the title track at this bandcamp page.

Rations' songs just have a little something that makes every moment poignant no matter what you're doing, provided the record is spinning. I've been lying in bed looking up out of my windows at the sky or doing something as mundane as eating cereal and I've just stopped to reflect. The music has a definite authenticity that allows you to lose yourself in it without any worry of anxiety or negativity. Put in simpler terms, I would call How Much Land Does a Man Need? a 'feel-good' record.

The 7" comes with a 12 page booklet designed by the guitarist, who also runs one of the 10 labels who've co-released the record. 1000 copies were pressed, so they're currently in abundance and you would do well to pick one up. This comes with my strongest recommendation.

Perth's Jerk Store Records is selling them for $5 postage paid anywhere in Australia, or $3 in person. If you're from down here, definitely do not miss the opportunity as I'm not entirely sure how many copies Alex has. Those of you from other parts of the world, here's a list of each label involved and its whereabouts - I'll let you do the googling.

Jerk Store Records & Fanzine (AUS)
Drunken Sailor Records (UK)
Lost Cat Records (USA)
86'd Records (USA)
Rad Girlfriend Records (USA)
Intense Human Victories (USA?)
Square of Opposition Records (USA)
Pavones Records (CAN)
Messner Records (SWE)
Eager Beaver Records (Jap)

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