In 2012, I did my best to cheerlead an awesome demo by a band called Great Neck–a band featuring Derek Perry and Casey Lee of Fake Problems, as well as Lonnie Dillinger, Jeb Barrows, and Sean Stevenson. The word was that a proper record was imminent, but years went by, and it never surfaced. Esoterexoticism is that record, made on the heels of the demo, finally available. In an introductory note, Casey Lee writes of the record, of the time passed since it’s recording: “I don’t expect anyone to have a strong reaction about this. I don’t care if anyone does. I think this is more for us than anyone else.”
I hope it was helpful for the band to get these songs of their chest. But I must say, I had a strong reaction from the second I became aware the record existed. I woke up on Saturday to an email from the Great Neck bandcamp saying there was a new release. I left my fiancee asleep and ran out of the bedroom to listen to it. Track after track, I was volleyed between 2012 and now. In both cases, I happened to be newly relocated a thousand miles from home. These feral Florida songs mean a lot to me. Esoterexorcism holds up well in any year. Every song is just as vivid as if it were made today. But there’s also a significance to the years that these songs were kept to the musicians. Perry’s vocals are wild. Like he’s exorcising himself (as the title suggests, esoterically, and erotically?). Frothing like the dude from Milk Music, growling like Paddy from D4, wailing purply like Adam Sandler losing his mind in The Wedding Singer. Even on the one familiar song here, the song carried over from the demo, hearing Perry’s new take on, “tried to be another person / tried to be a different place / but I! Miss! You!” is unsettling, believable.
“I loved someone who died / in the fires of their own mind,” Perry sings on the first track. The band performs the rest of the album from those very fires. I’m thankful and stoked on this 22 minutes of music. Thank you, Great Neck.
Stream, name your price, download the album from Great Neck’s bandcamp.