The "False Alarm" 10" EP
Original catalog number: QX006-10.
Sunny Day Song
Byrne - Guitar, Vocals, Organ
Brendan Bell - Bass, Drums
James Yu - Drums, Bass, Violin
Susan Ziegler - Vocals, Bells
from far-flung Portland, Oregon, Bügsküll began as the name for Sean
Byrne's solo efforts, some of which were released by Shrimper as a
cassette called "Subversives." The earliest material was
mostly tape loops and samples supporting stacatto guitar work, but
was later fleshed out with the addition of James Yu on drums and Brendan
Bell on fretless bass. Bügsküll was now a "real" band and
started recording endlessly at Red Light Studios, their basement 4-track.
This version of the band produced three full-length tapes, was included
on two 7" compilations, released two 7" singles, an album,
and probably much, much more. There have been rumours lately
that they have broken up, or that Sean is back on his own, but we're
not sure. Road Cone
has an excellent website which you should check out for more Bügsküll
History of Rock Music has a nifty bilingual entry for them as
Magazine did a little review as well.
only Quixotic release was this now-legendary "False Alarm"
10" EP. Contained within the groovy vinyl are just three
tracks: "False Alarm," "Next Wave," and "Sunny
Day Song." Recorded at Red Light Studios, Winter 1992,
it was mixed and produced by Brendan Bell.
(#"strange" January 1994,
"(A Portland) quartet that covers many bases--most notably the
guitar dissonance and semi-ethereal atmosphere of a Sonic Youth or
Dustdevils and replaced with a slow lethargy of anti-energy like Codeine.
However, the three songs in question are hauntingly beautiful, especially
the ironically titled 'Sunny Day Song' which sounds more appropriate
for a rainy Monday morning."
(#6 Jan. 1994, Alyssa Isenstein)
"This 10-inch is completely amazing. Even the cover art is beautiful...
'Sunny Day Song' takes up the whole b-side, all 11 gorgeous minutes
of it. This is more of a soundscape than a song. There are no drums,
just lots of graceful organ type drawn out tones and notes. Sean sings
over and over, 'It's 4 am and it's cold outside...This is a sunny
day song,' and it has an almost mantra like effect, even though he
changes the words around on every 'verse'. You get such a sense of
time and space from 'Sunny Day Song' that it's pretty breathtaking...
Get this 10" and see what all the Bügsküll fuss is about."
(#1981 11/19/93, Seana Baruth)
"Bügsküll's largely hookless material relies on atmosphere to
mesmerize and hold you. At times, they remind of a mysterious, less
naive Unrest, an unstructured Red House Painters, a more melancholic
Seam, or a delirious, meandering Sebadoh. 'False Alarm's' pared-down
moodiness is anchored by a charming series of shy, neurotic notes
and is occasionally interrupted by changing, louder interludes or
rare full-on distortion eruptions. 'Next Wave' seems, by comparison,
sinister. It offers a more inflected vocal and rare episodes of Slint-y
dissonant plinking. 'Sunny Day Song,' the least constructed track,
edges toward sparse ambience and, oddly enough, captures a rainy--not
(#69 April 1994, Andrea `Enthal)
"Dissonant, arty, crisp, clear, and harsh: the sound of Bügsküll
is both gentle and abrasive at the same time. There's nothing loud
or raucous about them on this 10-incher. Tapped cymbals, chiming guitar,
half-whispered high male vocals, lonely-sounding female ones, bells,
violin, and organ are used to create their sound. It's the way they
put those instruments together which makes those elements unsettling...they
are a thinking person's sound-scape, not a party or dance band."
"Looking at the Blue-Note style packaging on this record, you
might be led to expect some saxophone-tinged chaos or some other jazzcore
wildness. However, the music of Bügsküll is nothing of that ilk at
all. What it is, however, is so perfect that I really feel ill-equipped
to describe it. The aural equivalent of floating in a lake might be
a good description, for the music washes over one with the same inexorable
force as the tide. A mix of lo-fi recording, floating psychedelia,
and pop sensibilities combine to make what could be the most satisfying
record I've heard in a long time. "
(#89 April/May 1994, Cake)
"Lo-fi, experimental jazz/noise which is reminiscent of the third
Velvet Underground album meets the Residents and Joy Division... It's
(#17 Summer 1994, Steven Fievet)
"I've yet to hear anything on the Quixotic label that I didn't
like, but this release reaches a new high. Bügsküll sound simultaneously
familiar and unfamiliar...not an easy feat for a band. The vague,
unexplainable traits of this band are endearing and totally mesmerizing.
I command you to order this."
(#5 Spring 1994, D McG)
"Excellent Portland band that expands to a four-piece with this
extended-play release. 'False Alarm' recalls the glowing warmth of
Galaxie 500, with soft snare-drumming, roaming bass and dreamy guitar
lines. They also launch into loud, distorto-guitar rants as well as
Big Star-like passages. 'Next Wave' is a lethargic windstorm that
takes its time building into a massive gust of divinely inspired six
string exotica. 'Sunny Day Song' zones out with a Spacemen 3 feel
and creates some of the most saddening notes and depressing tuneage
I've cried to in a while. Beautiful full color sleeve and jazz design.
(#13 July 1994, Jeff Smith)
"I could see Forced Exposure going for this in a big
way were it as well connected as Dadamah or any hippie act on P.S.F.
They've got a vaguely NZ, lo-fi 1974 Eno demos feel that's real nice
and warm... Maybe this is what Crayon would sound like if they were
really stoned and only listened to Steve Hillage + Robert Wyatt.
'Next Wave' is a more straight ahead rock song, at least as far as
1994, post-Pavement rock. 'Sunny Day Song' takes all of side 2 and
it's a sleepy but not boring 3 AM whispered vocal and organ groove
that will bring you down easy and rock you gently and all those sundry
things that Sonic Boom asks God or drugs or his lover in those old
Spacemen 3 tunes we all know and love so well. He sings 'we can go
outside and find a place...' but it's not really necessary as they've
got more than ample roaming room, right here inside your head..."
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