Archive for July 2009
It’s an EP. Five tracks. “Disco Biscuit Love” is aptly named and has the same melody as a recent Top 40 hit. Not “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry but one of her equally gifted contemporaries. “Be a Star” has a more Killers feel to it, but the vocals are a bit strained. “Electric Lover” has piano like Keane, but the lyrics again come on a little strong. You’d think I’d like that, but somehow the flavors are not working together. “Old Little Girls” has the musical styling of Meat Loaf, and the lyrics are a little more subdued here. The piano works a lot better here, like in a Suddenly, Tammy song. “Unmarked Helicopters” is the last track. The mixing is done better on this one as well, and the song itself is better, if you like snare drums.
Oh, it’s one of those albums. Like Emily Lord, you worry because the lead singer is married and claims to sing folk music, but then you listen, and you realize that it’s much better than that. Maybe, just maybe, she sings a little better than Emily Lord, but that’s like arguing about Coke and Pepsi: If you only like one, you’re just fooling yourself. As Bloodhound Gang said, “Pepsi Challenge/took it; lost.”
“Until the Day Dims” raises expectations sky high as the leadoff track. You don’t even need to bunt the runner over, because it’s a triple every time. Maybe a suicide squeeze is in order? It’s as if Azure Ray were reincarnated. Maybe The Woodlands will play a $15 Nickel City show too. I wouldn’t put it past promoter Eric Fanali. He’s that good.
So this album is slow but not plodding. The singer has a delicate voice, the kind you wrap in newspaper before shipping, because God knows what the people at the U.S. Postal Service are going to do with it. “Can We Stay” is a great example of this. So is “Day to Day.” And “Summerland.” That one really is in a class by itself with the bells. Oh, the bells.
Squirrelhouse is no doubt inspired by its indie rock predecessors of the earlier part of this decade. The onesheet says Arcade Fire. I guess. I was thinking of Of Montreal. It’s an oversize band (six) with a male lead and female backing vocals. These are the kinds of albums I pick up when it’s a slow week at the KSCU music meeting.
They don’t venture off the beaten path, and that’s OK. They may top out at opening for more famous bands, but no one can really go away from their show and say they hated them. It’s going to take personality and witty banter, though, for people to love them.
I admire “Fours” as a track that fits all the puzzle pieces together nicely. And it’s the fourth track. That’s very self-effacing. It has guitar similar to “Walking Down Madison” by Kirsty MacColl and bass similar to “Down on the Corner” by Creedence Clearwater Revivial. The backing vocals really spackle it all together as well.
“The Searchers” rocks a bit more than the rest and has a nice guitar-wanking solo in it, which helps the song break the four-minute mark. It has a driving rhythm to it, and not the golfing kind, either.