Cover drawing by Jaime Morren. Photography by Alfred Sebastian. Tricephalic Head logo by Octavius Neveaux. All songs written, performed and recorded by Jesse Dewlow in Philadelphia in the winter of 2013.
"On his debut LP, Tricephalic Head , Jesse Dewlow creates music that sits in a very weird style trench. Parts of it are of a piece with current post-industrial mutts of vaguery like Matt Krefting, Scott Foust and Graham Lambkin, but there's also an urge towards songliness and graspable organization in line with Richard Youngs' party moves. Mix those together with a murky sub-underground feel resembling South Island NZ pop played inside of an armored car, and you can begin to get a handle on how truly eclectic (an overused term, but fucking apropros here) is People Skills' shitstream."
-Thurston Moore and Byron Coley (Bull Tongue Review issue 2)
Justin Spicer/Tiny Mixtapes -
Somewhere betwixt the crust of United Waters and the sediment of Bugskull lies People Skills. The 20 years of silt and sand compressing and collapsing; the murky echoes of the Earth belching. We’re lucky to have uncovered it since its creation, for Jesse Dewlow had been keeping it in the depths. A vivid brand of noise that has transformed the soft exoskeleton of pop into a heavy burning fossil fuel incapable of speeds greater than 15 mph. Those arrowheads and rusted impressions are the foundation of a neighborhood full of oddly timed speed bumps, Dewlow starting and stopping at each pedestrian-laden intersection to pick up some new buried ghost of the upper mantle. They pile into a monstrous vehicle and sloth down the 10 lane suburban paradise to drill further until they can mine the molten outer core. Tricephalus Head oozing out of the planet’s pores with the speed of frozen sap. The decomposing bones of pop transformed into a motorized substance capable of torpid momentum. This is the workplace People Skills inhabits, a 5 days-a-week moratorium on lightweight speed while drudgery and lethargy for a rotting world envelop us all. Soon we will be awash in tarpits, the doing of Dewlow’s plaintive miracle propellant. We need more of this substance and beg him to keep burrowing down until its sucked dry. No wonder Sarah Palin urged him to “Drill, baby, drill” for so long. To hell with Humvees and helicopters, give us the saccharine of eolith; give us decayed pop until our skies and lungs are poisoned on it. We shall care for its tricephalus for we understand mutation as divinity in our locale.
Matt Korvette of Yellow,Red,Green/ Pissed Jeans -
Gotta love Siltbreeze, as no matter how many game-changing underground artists they’ve (alright, he’s) dug up over the years, the label remains committed to putting completely unknown musical nonsense down on vinyl. Take People Skills for instance, a solo artist out of Philadelphia who I would’ve had no idea about were it not for this stately debut album. Tricephalic Head is pretty bleak, like what it must feel like to sleep on that awful mattress on the cover of the Kitchen’s Floor LP. I’m hearing some sort of super-depressed combo of Pink Reason’s Cleansing The Mirror, Lee Noble’s Ruiner and Russian Tsarlag’s Gagged In Boonsville, but with the guitars replaced by whatever rhythm generators and measly keyboards were to be found in the earliest practice spaces of Cabaret Voltaire and Young Marble Giants. All this with a constant warble effect laid on the vocals, to ensure that it sounds like the man behind People Skills is slowly drowning in an inch of water. This isn’t a record you can throw on at anytime and feel good about it – all your roommates or co-habitating family members must already be asleep or not yet woken up, and you’ve gotta be sitting there, staring into your lukewarm cup of coffee in search of answers. There are lyrics included in the cool DJ-style inner sleeve, but quite frankly I’m scared to read them.
Revolver Press Release -
Following a self-titled cassette (Psychic Mule, 2013), People Skills serve up a first LP of deceptively relaxed songs. As per usual, deductions are to be made on the consciousness of the character; the important thing is that in the ensuing spatial vagueness, Jesse Dewlow really comes into his own. The influence of Graham Lambkin has become so staggeringly panoramic over the past decade it seems to demand participation and here it is, inscribed by the chance blurts of Die Spielverderber and the slow attitude of The University Punx, and played from the loner-folk-side-in—that is, for feeling felt. And the laziness is projective; always managing to sound looser and more vivid than it seemed a couple of seconds before, shifting from lyrical to terse by way of The Rebel. And if that doesn’t get you, consider the mortal words of John Berryman: “Well hell / I’m not writing an autobiography-in-verse.” As a first-person hallucination recorded memory, this plays somewhere between full-blown Dewlow narrative and snapshot. Regardless, we’re blazing into a new era and this one will go perfect in one of those new rabbit-computer cafés.