Austin neuro-punks Single Frame already sound pretty scattered and cut up, one of a few bands that already has a sound that resembles a remix. They really don’t need any further distressing, their odd new wave chop shop producing sounds that hardly ever travel in a straight line. So it almost seems unnecessary that their new odds-n-sods collection, Everything Wants to Be Used For What It Was Made For, contains eight. Yup, eight.
If electronic artists can remix each other, however, I suppose it can be done with one of the least conventional rock bands in Texas. Everything isn’t a remix album proper, however, as it contains demos, rare tracks and other non-album gems, just like your typical rarities compilation. “Icon,” the playful opener, sounds almost like something lifted off of the band’s last two albums, while “Taken For A Walk” is one of the few songs the band has recorded that comes close to actual straightforward punk rock. The fuzzy “Silver Crime Lining” is a distorted hip-hop like track, weird but still not as wild as the band can be at times. The demo version of “Post Daydream” is a highlight, meanwhile, taking on a sort of cowboy folk singalong instead of the album version’s post-hardcore pummeling.
But there is also the matter of those remixes. “Exact Copy (Witch Dr. Remix by J-Mprint)” is little more than a boring beat fest, unfortunately. This misstep is redeemed by “Flying Circus (Apartment Mix)”, with its atmospheric synth sounds and dreamy new romantic feel. J-Mprint fares better with his remix of “Floral Design,” tearing it up into shards of the original. However, superstar guest remixer Nick Zinner gets the prize for his “monster mash-up” remix of “People Are Germs.” It tramps along like a zombie in search for brains, the song’s organ playing the perfect horror movie companion while atmospheric noises stir about. If more of the remixes on this collection were like this one, this collection would have the potential to be as good as any of the band’s other albums. As it is the nature of rarity comps, however, not every track is essential. With seventeen vast and varied tracks, though, even the most casual of fans will keep entertained.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.