The Going-Away Party is the debut EP from Dayton Oh-based art rock collective Complete Portion Control, related by birth to Dayton lo-fi legends Guided By Voices. Imagine Mark E. Smith from The Fall if he'd gone to a Swiss prep school. Imagine jagged, cyclic rhythms with inscrutable, repetitive vocals ranging from sweet crooning to insane shouting. Imagine a drug experiment gone badly wrong.
About the Artist
"Money changes everything," Cyndi Lauper famously warbled in her 1982 cover of the obscure Brains song. But for Complete Portion Control, money changes nothing. While CPCs life of privilege has been known to make even close friends literally green with envy (this fortunately turned out to be a harmless ear infection), its music is determinedly of, by, and for the people. In its own way, Complete Portion Controls mercilessly uncompromising Prep School Of Rock crosses borders of class and status more fluidly, and certainly more gracefully, than the highest street-credentialed outfit (though these days, seems you can win your Merit Badge just by shooting dope in an alleyway with some guy who used to be in The Dictators too easy! says CPC). Recorded in three strange days at bandleader Viv Florida's country estate in upstate New York, The Going-Away Party is a bittersweet ode to growing up young, good-looking, and rich. The music reflects a thorough-going stylistic ease genre hopping from the sound-collage pastiche of "Destroyer" to the minimalist bass chug/five guitar army right angles of "Right Rex/Ape?" to the pastoral mock piano balladry of "Sell Your House In 9 Days," which wouldnt sound out of place on a Tindersticks record. Throughout, guitar sounds, filtered through some kind of magic reverb/compression machine, played with manic intensity and a borderline-nuts adherence to the songs simple chordal structures, skitter and slide and jut obliquely through the listeners sound field this may be the most three-dimensional record ever made. The glue that holds CPCs complex sonic popsicle-stick architecture together (Florida's claims influence from Frank Gehrys nearby Fisher Center For The Performing Arts, which he also claims to have partially funded) is Florida's elastic voice, which ranges from a monotone chant, to sweet crooning, to Mark E. Smith-style ranting vitriol, to a fearsome Primal Scream that can only be the result of serious methyl-adrenaline experimentation. "When The Verve wrote The Drugs Don't Work," explains Florida's regarding CPCs substance abuse policy, "my reaction and I think everyone's reaction, really was well, sure, not if you can't afford the good stuff, pal. In my opinion he just wasn't trying."
By way of illustration, he refers to the two "CPC Adjunct Players" listed in the gnomic credits on the back sleeve of the EP, Danny Gibson and Shawn OSullivan. These two, Florida's insists, were "really just a couple of curious art students from nearby Bard College who wandered over to HenHouse attracted by the pretty lights and the noise. We spiked their lemonade with a massive dose of LSD and recorded the results. Which is actually the same trick Crispin Glover played on me in nursery school, re-contextualized." He pauses for a sip of tea, and takes a drag on his Gauloise. "Good times," he sighs, exhaling a blue plume of smoke in the shape of a sailboat.