If you were to tell someone that they needed to check out the new album from Israeli shoegazers Vaadat Charigim, I’m sure you would get a few puzzled looks — if not for the name alone, which means “Exceptions Committee” in Hebrew. However, after their first listen, any puzzlement would disappear, quickly to be replaced by big grins and some eventual air guitar motions. But the band is more than even my hastily applied description would have you believe. Elements of 80’s jangle rock, as well as a certain post-punk kineticism, can be found just under the surface of their music. Their debut album, The World Is Well Lost, contains sheets of guitar squalls, muscular riffs, and enough fuzz to make MC5 proud.
And speaking of influence, we talked recently with the band regarding some of the records that have helped to shape Vaadat Charigim’s own sound. Their choices reflect a vast array of inspirations and genre-hopping tendencies. They spend some time talking about indie rock albums from the 80’s — including LP’s by Wipers, Husker Du, and The Feelies, but also discuss how Yo La Tengo, Beat Happening, and 90’s-era Sonic Youth records played a crucial role in their formative musical experiences. Check out their full list below in the latest installment of our On Deck series.
First time I heard the Feelies was on tour in the USA. Somehow I missed them completely but some dude we stayed with played me this record in his house. What immediately caught my attention was the way the songs build up slowly, from nothing, to this rhythmic pounding almost bee-hive like assemblage of toms and strings. I had never heard any song build up like that before. It was like listening to a philosophical method.
I played the CD version of this record so much in high school in the nineties, that it got to a point where it wouldn’t work anymore. My definitive go to band when I feel like listening to something in Hebrew that will make me feel vital and dark.
When I just started out playing I would read about Husker Du’s guitar sound. Which pedals they used, which amps, what effects. The guitar sound of this band is so cathartic for me and so emotional that when I tell someone about what this band means to me I am usually at lost for words.
Same as Husker Du but add to that Greg Sage’s elusive, introvertive non-rock star persona, north western contemplative rock ‘n’ roll spirit, and weird self-inflicted alienation drenched lyrics and you have love at first sound. Atleast for me. Sage sounds like truth. When I watch videos of him with a bandana I just think “here is an anti-hipster if ever I saw one”. He is the only one who could pull off a non-cynical use of a bandana.
What can I say. They have such a natural sound. This record specifically, is the reason I tune my guitar the way I do, for the sake of interesting open tunings.
I loved this record when it came out in 2000. I am including it here because I think it’s very memorable cover art, New Jersey suburbia subject matter, and the very deep and dark sound of the record sort of stayed with me since. I often think about this record in regard to Israeli suburbia.
When I was 12 my best friend bought me this album by mistake. I listened to it once and didn’t get back to it untill years later. It grew on me. And now it is my favorite of all Sonic Youth albums, no matter how many other more “important” SY albums there are. I know it by heart.
An odd pick maybe, but I got this record on tour maybe 7 years ago. I really like this band. They sound like nice people. They sing in Japanese, but not “out there” Japanese, not the kind of Japanese that westerners come to expect from watching Anime. You kind of feel their austerity and everydayness. Its soothing. I don’t understand a word of their music, but I know it’s something simple, reduced, concrete. These are not songs about nonsense.
I love GBV so much. This is my favorite album by them. I sometimes close my eyes and try to imagine the places these songs were recorded in. The moods. The sound is so “found”. Its as random as passing by an accident. Songs that stick with you regardless of structure, clarity, or message. Music that acts like a photograph, that tells half truths about fleeting moments.
Vaadat Charigim’s debut record, The World Is Well Lost, is out now on cassette via Burger Records but will find a vinyl distribution on January 21st via Warm Ratio.