Wrapping Up: The Grinding Chaos of “Mechanical Joey” By Bill Orcutt
Wrapping Up is where we can write about a few of the songs and albums that are our “Best of” year end lists that we otherwise didn’t get a chance to cover
How much can you take? Bill Orcutt is man who isn’t afraid to call the question.
Orcutt is an artist who has continually pushed boundaries throughout his long and illustrious career, and he takes things to dizzying new levels on Mechanical Joey, a record that is two sides of one long, continuous song. The whole trick is a chopped up version of Joey Ramone counting “1,2,3,4,5,6,” with a few tweaks and variations, but otherwise is just 35 grinding minutes of what sounds like the needle getting stuck in a record groove.
It’s either the greatest thing ever or something that will be used to torture prisoners…or maybe both. When I first heard the song this summer, as I was relaxing by a beautiful body of water on a sunny weekend afternoon, I found myself grinding my teeth and tensing my shoulders. You keep waiting for the switch, for the payoff, for the pressure valve to release, but it never does. It ends up being almost a marathon of sorts, testing your limits and seeing if you can handle the pressure and punishment. Give it spin below and find out: how much can you take?
Writer / co-founder