Small Leaks Sink Ships – “The Living Room Sessions”

It used to be that releases from the legendary band Small Leaks Sink Ships were far less frequent than their fairly rare stunningly apocalyptic performances. This year that might not be the case even though they moved to Oregon and have mentioned that they may actually be releasing two albums this year. The first is their parting gift to AZ, Living Room B-Sides is that gift.  The ten song collection culls the best of their Monday Minestrone online project and b-sides for their forthcoming brand new album to arrive later this year. According to Jim Mandel (Bass/Guitar) “Those songs on the tape would be written in one practice, then recorded quickly and released every Monday.” Which is pretty amazing, because though it is a varied collection (it does sound like a collection of b-sides and rare tracks), it’s all fascinating and wonderful SLSS at their best. Perhaps the spontaneity of their writing and release adds something to the energy and depth of the collection.

Initially released on cassette by Rubber Brother Records, this only makes me more obsessed with the next release, because this is great and that’s going to be a masterpiece without a doubt.  When I first wrote about The Living Room Sessions there I had an advanced copy of it and there were twelve tracks, not sure how the cassette version actually came out, but I have that too. It was also in a completely different order. Now you can download the ten track version of it off bandcamp and if you can’t pay the $10 that it deserves, you can listen to it over and over again below or on their page.. There is a lot of amazing instrumental material that’s spacey, hypnotic, melodic and fun, in addition to actual songs that do what SLSS is best at, which is to see melt your mind and transport you to a universe all their own where space if fluid and time is bent. This collection is a bit front heavy, the best songs like “You Say Today, I Say Dance”, “Toothpicks” and “The Prayer” are in the first half, but in a way this draws you into their psyche warping instrumental madness that consumes most of the latter half.  Still, I’m left wondering what happened to “Eye of The Storm” (which was one of my favorites formerly found here) and “Porcelain Clowns” which was a fantastic five minute instrumental that punctuated this sentence perfectly.

All I know is that I was always hoping this collection would happen. Now I can only hope that they return to AZ to celebrate the release of their next album with us, because this puts me on the edge of my freaking seat in anticipation. I hope they visit before that, actually, unless they want to surprise us with the new album in the next month. I miss these guys not being here and not playing shows, but I could enjoy it a bit better, if they’d stop in an play a show or two while they are not here. For now, we can enjoy this collection of audities and wonder…