Custom Floor serves up a large dose of guitar, bass and drums-based rock all big banged out into a wide array of minor notes, ringing octaves, heavy distortion, hovering harmonics, cymbal crashes, drum splashes and big-britches bass throb. Sounds Like: Sonic Youth meets Live Skull in a clothes dryer set on BURN.
From the late-night, existential journeys of "With The Grain" and Cheerleader" to the flowing, ten-songs-in-one quality of "Drive By". From the high energy rock 'n' roll romp and daydream drift of "Rich & Famous" to the languid dirge of "Waiting". From the mild/wild squeal of "Late Night Moan" to the dancing-around-the-boiling-cauldron clunk of "Take Your Hands". From the steel-spring guitar-powered mega garage-rock of "Kill Yourself" on through the chiming octave beauty of "Storybook World" and closing out with the mysterious, floating landscape of "Solar Power", From A Body is paradise for those in love with dreamy, dissonant heavy rock.
Garry Davis: Guitar, Vocals
Matt Crane: Drums
Chris Squire: Bass
Recorded by: Gar Wood (Hot Snakes) at Box Studios in San Diego, California
December 1997 (Vol. 6 No. 5)
"Sit down, shut up--or I'll get up and be nice to you," a menacing voice threatens at the outset of "Cheerleader," one of the ten sonic experiments on Custom Floor's first CD/second album/fourth record, From A Body. Throaty recitals of brash poetry are escorted through your speakers by a barrage of guitars and drums that masterfully slip from jazz overdrive to languid single-string soliloquies and back again--from clarity to baroque discord in a fraction of a second, the segues so smooth and transparent, you're not sure whether to meditate or stomp a hole in the floor.
In the six years Custom Floor has been making occasional club appearances (including a 1994 national tour with fellow San Diegans Drive Like Jehu), vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Garry Davis has resisted borrowing any of the proven styles that have earned other local bands national acclaim. Instead, he's chartered yet another trajectory, dispelling further the notion of any singular "San Diego" sound.
While previous records like 1993's Clear Day LP and 1995's The Handsome Young Air Force Lieutenant 7" are noted for Garry's use of unusual chords and homemade guitars featuring steel rods and springs, the tracks on From A Body were recorded almost exclusively with a conventional Fender Jazzmaster in standard tuning. Still, he manages to weave minor and unusual chords into a string of raging melodies that work you like a full body massage.
Garry has recorded with various musicians over the years, but From A Body offers perhaps the most promising Custom Floor line-up to date. Bassist Chris Squire and drummer Matt Crane compliment Garry's guitar and vocal work with equal sensitivity to the music's subtle overtures. From the production (recorded at Box Studios by Tanner's Gar Wood and released on Garry's own Analog Sound Recordings label) to the handwritten lyric sheet, From A Body is DIY to the core.