As a filmmaker, Los Angeles-based Australian transport, Adam Harding has built up a respectable resume doing video work for for artists ranging Warpaint to DJ Shadow, but it wasn’t until around 2005 that he really began to focus more seriously on his own music career, after working with Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, Folk Implosion) to create replacement music to a deleted scene for the director’s cut release of the John Waters film, Crybaby. Their music ultimately went unused; however, the recording and collaboration between Barlow and Harding continued. Adam self-released a 10″ EP in 2009, with Barlow on bass, followed by 4 more 7-inches over the next 3 years, all under his own name. In 2013, Joyful Noise Recordings put out the first full length studio album for his project Dumb Numbers, which saw Harding recruiting an impressive cast of musicians that he’d formed friendships and connections with over the years. The potential weakness of an unstable lineup has become the greatest strength of the project, as a rotating cast of talent is employed to make the work come to life. This revolving door tactic has become especially necessary to accommodate the rare Dumb Numbers live performances, since high profile and active contributors aren’t always available, but that hasn’t prevented the group from touring with such bands as My Bloody Valentine and Sebadoh.
Last month, the sophomore effort Dumb Numbers II arrived boasting appearances by members/contributors both new and old, including both Barlow and Murph of Dinosaur Jr, Kevin Rutmanis (Cows, Melvins, Tomahawk, Hepa-Titus), Dale Crover (Melvins, Shrinebuilder, Altamont, Fecal Matter), Bobb Bruno (Best Coast) and even a song written by Sam Coomes (Quasi, Heatmeiser). In preparation of the release came the single “Unbury The Hatchet” which features Harding being joined by Crover, Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man), and Geordie Stafford (Golden Bats, Dick Nasty) with lead vocals from David Yow (The Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid) and “electronic soundscapes and Tuvan throat singing” by Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten, The Unsemble). Today they share a video for the track starring Yow, who reprises his role as “Jimmy,” the janitor from the 2012 video for “Walk Away” by Melbourne psych punkers Useless Children, a band whose bassist, Steve Patrick is a longtime collaborator of Harding and is also featured repeatedly on Dumb Numbers II. Harding plays David‘s loving wife and directs the new video which includes cameos from Rutmanis; a black-eyed Bobb Bruno; Yow‘s former Qui bandmate, Matt Cronk in a gorilla suit; and Kimmy Robertson aka Lucy Moran from Twin Peaks.
Connections run deep, as Twin Peaks director, David Lynch not only did the cover art for the first Dumb Numbers LP, but also handled the B-side of a split 10-inch with Dumb Numbers that was released as part of a wooden box set in October of 2015. Filling out the box were 2 more 10-inch splits, one with Melvins and the other with David Yow; the A-side of the Yow split consisting of none other than the track “Unbury The Hatchet.” I could also mention that the box set’s artwork was designed by Mackie Osborne (wife of Melvins frontman, King Buzzo) or even that David Yow directed the video for “Redrum” off the first Dumb Numbers album, but… let’s face it, we could do this all day. You get the idea, this is a project with Harding at the helm, while leaving plenty of room for genuine collaboration from an array of highly accomplished multi-talented collaborators. But that’s enough of my jibber jabber, just watch the fucking video.