Big Waves of Pretty, “Feeling Stoned”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 05.23.14 in Listen to This

Every season, the great Los Angeles label Bridgetown Records releases a batch of new cassettes from bands perched on the fringes of rock music. The weirdest of the latest, typically-excellent roundup is Wisconsin’s Big Waves of Pretty, who never met a song structure they didn’t want to detonate. “Feeling Stoned” starts as agreeably-caffeinated pop-punk, but when it hits the end of each verse, it panics: the drums speed up suddenly, the guitars trip over one another, the vocals howl in terror. And then, just as suddenly, it smooths out again. Over and over the pattern repeats, buckling the foundations of the song a little more each time, until it finally collapses in a smoking, chattering heap.