The latest offering from Cambridge, Mass’ Reports is one of the more intriguing surprises I’ve found in the mailbox this past week – and by surprise I mean this came without warning, from the band, as a gift -- not the surprise of finally finding those records I pre-ordered over a month ago. If you read here you’ll know Reports first LP, Mosquito Nets was one of those under-the-radar releases that didn’t get passed around too many circles, but it still shone with a pop bent that couldn’t be denied. I said it was crammed with “scruffy tuneful moments” and I meant it. That record’s still sitting on the “play” shelf, even though I was getting anxious to see how they would evolve.
Their latest 7” on Ride the Snake gives us some clues. “Bill Wyman, Metal Detector,” reiterates the fact that Reports are currently my favorite (unashamed/unabashed) disciples of Guided By Voices (sorry High Strung), and you can really hear it in the ascending vocal melodies. The music on the other hand, is more like an agitated GBV (or Arlo, for those in the know), influenced by a slanted form of punk Pollard would rarely touch. I enjoy the fusion, as there seems to be both slop and tightly wound dynamics to what they do as a band. The b-side, “Attleboro Trails,” mines a similar bop but its groundwork is purely – what’s the word here? – choogling in the way Zen Guerilla or Delta 72 would work a white-funk groove, except sterilized and dripping in echo. It’s not what you think. They actually don’t play out of character -- it’s simply a nice diversion to their already increasing profile in shitpop centers.
But I need the whole quest guys. I need to hear what this would sound like stretched over a full slab. There’s got to be some label out there hearing this. Reports deserve a shot and a wider forum from which to yell. Grab it.