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    Michael Yonkers Band – Microminiature Love

    Michael Yonkers Band - Microminiature Love.

    Minnesota son Michael Yonkers started rocking in the early 1960s and, despite a seriously debilitating back injury incurred in 1971, continued on for decades. After a mid-’60s stint with his first, more traditional rock ‘n’ roll outfit, Michael and the Mumbles, the much more exploratory Michael Yonkers Band was born. Their first album, Microminiature Love was recorded in 1968 and due for release on Sire, but the deal went South and the tapes joined the ever-growing collection of psych obscurities that languished for decades in dusty boxes inside attics and basements around the globe.

    In 2002, DeStijl and Sub Pop stepped in to rescue the rapidly oxidizing reels from a certain death. Studio-recorded live and first take (just like a show), the songs come across raw and immediate–especially Michael’s guitar, which had previously fallen off its stand, the impact of which banged into the axe a droney, open tuning. The resultant sound was so unusual and oddly awesome that Michael employed said tuning to the fullest, combining it with homemade stomp boxes and a theremin to thrilling effect.

    The seven songs on Microminiature Love effortlessly mesh this almost sitar-like guitar rock, which foreshadows sounds that Rhys Chatham, Glenn Branca and Sonic Youth would pursue a decade later, with Michael’s distinctive ’60s-style speaking-singing backed with random patches of reverb. We’re talking loads of spy film garage rock full of heavy, dissonant riffing and a fantastic feedback echo noise section that could make a million later bands jealous.

    After the initial “failure” of Microminiature Love, it’s kind of surprising that Michael went on to record several folk music LPs in the 1970s. And despite his lifelong back pain, he continued to play occasional live shows in the ’80s and ’90s, followed by more live and recording activity in the 2000s. This shining example of human stickwithitness should be an inspiration to us all.

    More: Dusted, Official

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