If you did not grow up in Florida, or perhaps have not familiarized yourself with Florida's geographical (nautical) surroundings, you might not know which side of MRENC's (pronounced "Mister E - N - C") album All Around Surround to play first, which I like. It puts the sequencing in the listener's hands. Side-A is the "Atlantic Side," while Side-B is the "Gulf Side." The title All Around Surround is a lyric from the closing track "Cover Me."
The vinyl release comes with a CD, not a MP3 download. I remember my first experience with this; getting a CD with a vinyl I purchased. It was the summer of 2000 in Cambridge, MA (I had just returned from an amazing honeymoon with my wife), and Shellac had just released 1000 Hurts. Inside they included a CD copy of their album. It was brilliant, and before MP3 downloads. Nowadays, when an artist like MRENC puts their CD inside the vinyl, it demonstrates their position on this whole digital movement; basically saying they ain't planning no games when it comes to their music. Giving you the CD is giving you the music itself (like the vinyl), not a cheap-ass digital photocopy. I've got all respect for bands like MRENC for including CDs with their wax. Plus, the CD jacket plays the role of the liner notes for the vinyl; a practical solution.
Added props go out to MRENC for their packaging. Those of you following this here little blog site are probably catching on to the fact that 1) I love black and white artwork, and 2) I love it when bands cheat the system and design an exquisite package on a dime. To the naked eye, one would not know that the latter was the case with MRENC. However, those in the industry may recall that jacket manufacturers offer solid black finished jackets at a discounted price. If a band or label is capable of designing simplistic, yet pro, artwork / imagery that can be hand silkscreened upon these ready-to-go jackets, without looking like it was hand silkscreened, or (possibly / debatably) worse feeling like it was hand silkscreened, then they just might be able to pull off an economicly sound design like MRENC was able to do with All Around Surround. Job well done Mr. Eric N. Collins (MRENC).
Hand numbered on the "Atlantic Side" center label in a silver ink. Housed in a polypropylene bag. Released by one of the hardest working indie labels this side of the Mississippi, New Granada Records. A lot of thought went into this vinyl record, and it shows.
MRENC remind me of The Walkmen, somewhere between the vocal and drums and guitar work, but not all at once. There is an aggressive punch at times like Les Savy Fav, and sexy (yup, that's a first), seductive lure that brings me back to why I liked that band Plexi (just saw their album somewhere on vinyl; should have picked it up); I think that is the Florida 90's goth vibe I'm picking up (and loving; love me some old school Florida goth).
Fuck it. This is a damn good album. Buy it. There were only 300 made.