Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Partial Vindication in Studebaker's Blacksmith Shop

I mentioned the band before, stating that they were good, but held back by somewhat stiff vocals. Well, they've got a newer release out, called "Excuse me, are you Sick?" and it's getting much better. The vocals are still a bit stiff in parts, but the music has gone far less stoner, and far more plain old "alt rock', so the vocals sound less out of place, even if they get overly formal still. For some reason, the end effect reminds me a bit of Belly, but that's probably something strange from the back of my brain.
I think the best way I can describe this altered direction is that similar to Garcia, they've injected a lot of pop music into a stoner-alt base. I mean, I can hear the Queens of the Stone Age influence, but also some Nine Inch Nails, with some of The Gathering and now, some of Pandora's.box (yes, I can finally hear the connection) So it's getting to be pretty good robot rock. I really like the electronic flourishes and when Kerstin scrapes up her voice a bit. So, yeah, "Asshole Dance" is a standout for me. So is album closer "Therapy". Hey, it's free, if nothing else, but seriously, that's not the best reason to get it. There are literally hundreds of thousands of free albums out there. The main reason to get this is that it's good music, that blows away the weak drek you'll hear even on "Alt Rock" American Radio stations. I will admit, I'd like a little more polish on the production, and a bit more rawness to the performances, but it's still unique music- stoner electro rock with female vocals- and the vision is becoming much more clear.

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