Under Review

Sightlines

Our Demands

Alarum Records

by Chris Yee


Remember the burble and murk of Internet music streams back in the RealPlayer days? Remember cramming into tiny rooms to see folks play cramped, grotty music? Sightlines do.

To wit, Sightlines recently put out a cover of the New Fever’s “Our Demands” as a digital single – on floppy disk. The New Fever was a short lived project of then-d.b.s. frontman and future Hive Creative Labs founder Jesse Gander. Beyond that pedigree, it had a personal resonance for Sightlines guitarist and vocalist Eric Axen, who chose “Our Demands” as Sightlines’ contribution to a compilation album of local band covers.

“I chose this song because The New Fever were one of the first bands I saw upon moving to Vancouver. They played a great show with Hot Hot Heat, the Red Light Sting, and Reserve 34 in the fall of 2000,” he writes in the single’s liner notes.

That project was not to be, but at least Sightlines have gotten a nice little track out of it. And it is little. At a cool minute and a half, it’s just the right size to fit on a floppy given a low enough bit rate. The song itself moves from an unruly, claustrophobic opening to something a little more melodic and spacious, even as the cymbals’ clangourous sibilance threaten to overwhelm it.

Will the floppy disk single be anything more than a novelty? Despite some precedent, such as releases in the format by New Jersey pop-punkers the Ergs! and local synth wizard Tom Whalen (as GR8-2000), probably not. But still, there’s always a niche for tracks like this latest Sightlines release; tracks that embrace the trash, physical release or no physical release.