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Erase Errata — Damaged b/w Ouija Boarding

Released by Kill Rock Stars, 11/2/10

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

You can’t help but love a band that over the course of many years remains deliciously weird.

It’s hard to figure out how to describe Erase Errata. They say they’re influenced by the Fall, Captain Beefheart, and the Minutemen, three bands that sound very little like each other. Although they’d most likely be classed as post-punk or alternative by most, sometimes even as noise rock.

That sense of sonic space is heavily apparent on new single Damaged b/w Ouija Boarding. While “Damaged” has hints of Joy Division in its dark, spacey melodies, a similarity that’s particularly apparent in the bass, “Ouija Boarding” has more of a Bauhaus feel to it. Sometimes you can’t help wanting to call Erase Errata a goth band, even though they don’t really look like one, and this single will remind listeners of that fact.

As usual, Jenny Hoyston’s vocals are pretty but a little rough, and pleasantly under-produced. Maybe that should be the new sign for fans to hold up at shows: “Thank you for not using AutoTune.” Thank you for going easy on the studio wizardry in general, actually — both “Damaged” and “Ouija Boarding” have a sound that could easily be reproduced live, and they’re better because of it.

You can’t deny that it’s all a bit retro — both songs took me back to my teenage goth club days. It’s the good kind of retro, though. Moody but not a downer, raw but not messy, listening to this single is like stepping in a time machine and stepping out back in the days when music was an entirely more organic experience. It won’t appeal to those who love their glossy radio rock, but it’s not meant too.

Erase Errata have always made music for people who love music, and Damaged b/w Ouija Boarding is no exception. This understated little band is a local gem. Treasure them and be very glad that we still have them.