Vinyl Vlog 524

Vinyl Vlog 524

Saturday, 06 November 2021

Vic Berger IV
The Cabinets & The Cupboards

We’re very lucky here at Ground Control to actually get vinyl to review on our column. We’re sometimes doubly lucky, and caught completely unawares, when the label sending us the record we requested, adds on another record because they think we’d like it too. Maybe “shocked” is a better description than “caught unawares,” because vinyl is becoming more and more of a luxury to own, and it’s becoming harder and harder for labels to acquire. What a burden it’s become. The wonderful folks at Flannelgraph put out one of the weirdest and coolest records ever in the Scharpling and Wurster’s Rock, Rot, and Rule LP, and this record by Vic Berger IV came out of left field. And what a pleasant surprise it was.

Most of the time I have some (SOME) idea of what I’m about to listen to: I’m familiar with the band, the members, the label, the genre, SOMETHING. But this time, I knew nothing, and by golly, I sure get SOMETHING out of Cabinets & The Cupboards. There’s a story here which puts things into context. Cabinets & The Cupboards contains songs written between 2000-2012 and were an introverted Berger’s way of expressing his emotions as a high schooler. I know the feeling of writing a song you’re proud of that no one will hear, so I can vouch for the therapeutic power of music. What’s equally charming about Cabinets & The Cupboards is that Berger is quite a skilled musician, and knows how to record music, because the songs here are pretty complex. They contain a somber tone, sure, but there’s a Beach Boys-esque sweetness to them all with layers of harmonies carried by keyboards and a mellow beat. I wasn’t expecting that. Berger’s voice itself even sounds like it’s maturing throughout the album as he explores songs about love, rejection, isolation and fitting in.

There’s a blurb by Julie Klausner on the cover jacket, which is confusing, but then searching the internet I’m finding out that he’s a comedian of some sort editing political videos and hanging out with the likes of Tim Heidecker. I did not know that. Maybe the Klausner quote is supposed to appeal to comedy fans.

Anyway, back to the record…

Berger never intended for the masses to hear these songs, but now they’re collected here and pressed on vinyl of all things. It’s somehow fitting that these modest, but interesting and charming songs, would get the vinyl treatment. It adds a kind of luster to the record and makes you want to pat the guy on the back. Great job. Great songs. Great record.

Listen to The Cabinets & The Cupboards here and get a copy from Flannelgraph records.

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