[19 August 2014]
PopMatters Music Editor - Canada
Here’s a concept that I haven’t heard of in a while: the double A-side. According to Wikipedia, the double A-sided single was invented in December 1965 by the Beatles for their single of “Day Tripper” and “We Can Work It Out”, where both were designated A-sides. Now in the digital age, where individual tracks are the king instead of seven-inch records, the term is pretty much moot. Or is it? Free Time, a band comprised of Australian ex-pat Dion Nania on guitar and vocals, Jonah Maurer on guitar, Mike Mimoun on drums, and Eric Harm on bass – though the seven-inch features original bassist Adrienne Humble – are out to prove that there’s still value and commodity in the term. And it works: both of these songs are pretty good, and it’s easy to see why the band would like to spotlight both of them.
“Esoteric Tizz” is a jangly stab of guitar rock that wouldn’t be out of place on the Flying Nun roster of the ‘80s. Its lyrics are somewhat abstract and don’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s still fun and infectious. There’s a guitar solo that absolutely shreds, and the song basically makes an appearance inside your head. “Guess Work”, on the other hand, is an acoustic ballad, but quite the fetching one. Recorded by Real Estate’s Martin Courtney, the cut offers up a softer version of the fiery jangle-rock of “Esoteric Tizz”. Taken together, they’re like the two Aspirin you’ll need before calling the doctor in the morning. They’ll simply tide you on until something more substantial comes along. While the pair of tracks aren’t flat out brilliant, they are very good. This single is proof that there’s still some life in the concept of the double A-side yet, and this is definitely worth a listen.