Joe Bordenaro’s ‘Physical Education’ EP may well be one of the most authentic pieces of music to come out this side of 2014. Tucked away in Lockport, Illinois, the multi-instrumentalist has been busy producing slabs of gritty but glimmering garage rock with a pop tinge for some months now. With the ‘Physical Education’ EP being written and recorded in his basement, the records pedigree may well of unwittingly paid tribute to the stomping grounds of family garages and lock-ups as from where the origins of garage rock music spring from.
Ancestry and lineage aside though, the music here on offer is of a well-constructed nature. ‘Miss You All The Time’ is a warm embrace of an introduction to the EP, complete with murky, reverb drenched guitars and raspy leads that explodes into a hooky chorus which basks amid a slacker personality. ‘Loner’ counterpoints its predecessors through a mid-tempo jaunt, the upbeat track launching straight into the verse from the get go, emblazoned in skuzzy aesthetic and lo-fi appeal which holds together a songwriting progression which is both dynamic and fluid.
The lyrics “And now we’re looking out your window / and I can hear the wind blow / and I don’t care where we go” in ‘I Don’t Know’ carries on the same careless, up-tempo vibe the EP has shown so far, but instrumentation wise, the track presents itself in a pensive position played out in a kooky manner which references the Parquet Courts approach to riffing. ‘Summer Anyway’ wraps up the EP and gives a stage to Joe Bordenaro’s most tender and reflective songwriting attempt. Like a rougher version of Ducktails, the song starts with some reflective lead before falling into a slow paced sway, glittering and immersive as the ‘ooh’s’ and ‘ahh’s’ echo out amongst the lead vocals.
What we’re left with as ‘Physical Education‘ ends its short, 10 minute running time is a collection of tunes, well crafted and refined, acting as an example of modern day garage done to a high standard. Basements are still offering up produce from young artists in 2014, and here we have a representative case of a record that means good music is still out there, it’s just finding the right tuckaways and lock-ups in which to discover it.