If you only listen to one song today, make it “I Think You’re Lying to Me” by Ultracherry Violet (1995, from the album I Fall To Pieces)
Ultracherry Violet was a dream-pop/shoegaze band from Washington, DC. They were active in the early-to-mid 1990s, and they released only one album (that I know about). They were one of the bands on the wonderful dream-pop/shoegaze label Bedazzled Records. That label was in business for a little over 10 years and they only released something like 40 titles, and I had at least a quarter of them. Please also see my posts about Siddal, The Curtain Society, An April March, and the great post about An April March over at Feed Me With Your Kiss.
I never did know anything about this band, and I still don’t. It’s three guys (Dugan, Dan, and Danny) who are not brothers, and that’s all that I know. If any of them were in bands before Ultracherry Violet or if they were in bands afterwards, I have no idea. A lot of people said that they were something like a marriage of Pale Saints and My Bloody Valentine. I can understand why people might say that, because there’s a similar flavor profile. However, the skill set isn’t the same. I might say that it’s a different branch of the family tree. Like they’re a third cousin to Pale Saints, and coincidentally a second cousin to MBV.
I Fall to Pieces was one of my favorite releases from that label, but it’s also one of the sloppiest records that I own. Today’s song is full of little recording/production glitches and bad sound levels. The rest of the album is beset by imperfection, including a sequencing error that caused one song to appear on the album twice under different titles. The song was “Losing My Friends”, and it showed up earlier in the album in place of what should have been a brilliant song called “Remember”. When my copy arrived in the mail, I assumed for some reason that the error was exclusive to my copy. I wrote the label about it, only to find out that every copy had the same error. They said that they were going to re-press the album, but they never did. It’s a shame, because “Remember” is a great song, and I don’t have a copy of it.
Anyway, it’s about time to get to it.
“I Think You’re Lying To Me” by Ultracherry Violet
It starts off super quiet and super slow, but if you’re patient, you’ll be rewarded. It slowly builds momentum, and in the second half of the song it really picks up the pace, but is still a “quiet” song. After a tiny break at 4:40, the hammer drops at 4:45. And y’all know how I love it when the hammer drops on what had been a “quiet” song. It’s order and chaos. Like the fabled two-sided paintings by Wassily Kandinsky. “Chaos…Control. Chaos…control. You like? You like?”
It’s that bit with the shouting when the hammer drops. That’s what I love about this song. There are other songs on the album that are just as good, but it’s that sudden shift and the shouting that pushes this one to the front of the line for me.
Bedazzled shut its doors in 2000, and I Fall to Pieces was out of print before then anyway. There are, though, some copies of the album floating around out there. Just a few, though.