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MP3 Complete Portion Control - The Going-Away Party

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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, cyc

6 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, ROCK: Modern Rock



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Complete Portion Control
The Going-Away Party


From the same fertile earth that birthed Dayton, OH rock godz Rick Derringer, Guided By Voices, The Lemon Pipers, and P.S. Dump Your Boyfriend comes the Complete Portion Control. Inhabiting an aesthetic universe entirely of its own design, CPC shares geographical roots with other Dayton bands, but socio-cultural roots that extend far, far beyond anything Heartland USA might recognize or embrace. What materials we've been authorized to review concerning the three band members - Viv Florida, James Elliott, and Percy Kew - includes veiled and explicit references to The Carlyle Group; award-winning architectural designs for futuristic, mass poultry farms in Southern Japan; significant lobbying dollars spent on-what a Princeton economist called-an "inscrutably complex" index derivative based on the Spanish stock market; and a Financial Times journalist's recollection of a "staggering, artful" presentation at the World Economic Conference in Davos, Switzerland. So there's a sense that this little trio is privileged to unlimited resources of wealth and power that would make the members of the Strokes, Evan Dando, Steve Malkmus, and other rock scions look positively low rent. Which begs the question: why rock?


"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 CPC's 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 Control's mercilessly uncompromising Swiss Prep School Of Rock crosses borders of class and status more fluidly, and certainly more gracefully, than any 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 just three strange days at Florida's Revolutionary Era country estate in upstate New York's Hudson River Valley, The Going-Away Party-CPC's debut studio project-- is a bittersweet ode to growing up young, good-looking, and with a complete color spectrum of Lacoste shirts that in its own lazy way is a form of cultural subterfuge. But 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 wouldn't 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 listener's sound field - this may be the most three-dimensional record ever made. The glue that holds CPC's complex sonic popsicle-stick architecture together (Florida claims influence from Frank Gehry's nearby Fisher Center For The Performing Arts at Bard College, which he also claims to have partially funded) is Florida's elastic bass 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 James Elliott regarding CPC's substance abuse policy, "my reaction - and I think everyone's reaction, really - was 'well, sure, not if you can't afford the good stuff, dude.' 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 (Flowers of Disgust) and Shawn O'Sullivan (Red Box Black Box). These two, Florida insists, were "really just a couple of curious art students from Bard who wandered over to Hen House Studios attracted by the pretty lights and the noise. We spiked their lemonade with a massive dose of Adderall 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 green tea, and takes a drag on his Gauloise. "Good times," he sighs, exhaling a blue plume of smoke in the shape of a sailboat.


An early single (not included on the EP), "I Own This Dump (It's A Mansion)" reveals a more pointed, plain-spoken side of CPC. An instrumental track, the entire song consists simply of Percy Kew walking the empty, unfurnished halls of one of her recently acquired properties. The reverberation of her hand-made Italian stilettos makes a plangent statement: here, laid bare, you can hear the sweet kick of love, loneliness, habitual disappointment, patterns of seeming coincidence that contain the imprint of fate, loss of innocence, and the constant and comforting presence of death. Anyone who's ever experienced a summer thunderstorm in Southwest Ohio will understand.


Wherever Complete Portion Control decides to go from here, The Going-Away Party makes clear: nothing is beyond the realm of the possible. If you can dream it, you can do it. And always get a receipt for tax purposes.


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