Seismic-Sound Album Reviews: Sandrider,Memoryhouse and Vacant Fever.
Sandrider (Good to Die Records)
Like a hemi-engine revving up, “Children” drops the clutch right off the starting line. With the blood curdling vocals of Jon Weisnewski entwined with Nat Damm’s drums, you can almost feel the rattling in your guts. The tempo of “Corpse” leaves you feeling like a necrophiliac, and keeps you coming back for more … it’s just a matter of catching your breath when you feel the downshift at the 3:30 mark, but it doesn’t take long before you’re boned up again and enthralled in the “corpse” again. “Voices” and “Paper” give you more hard-charging rock and roll for thought, but Paper give’s the spotlight to bass player Jesse Roberts, who seemingly has fingers any female would love. Nat Damm’s drumming always seems on the verge of taking over on several tracks, ’cause his skills scream for the
attention. “The Judge” basically is the band kicking back for 10:07 and telling us all to suck their sweaty nuts while they play anthemic effortless kick-ass metal, all the while smoking cigarettes and grabbing the back of your head for control,just in case you forget who’s in charge. Bottom line… this album hits all the right spots. Hard.
Immediately upon pressing play, I am reminded of a modernized Sneaker Pimps on the first track “Little Expressionless Animals” electronified with a nice slow groove, which as much as I liked it, had me a bit concerned; but that was quickly put to rest when Denise Nouvian’s silky smooth vocals went head to head with the upbeat beach-soaked vibe of “The Kids Were Wrong” and its pulled off beautifully. With track “All Our Wonder” Abeele and Nouvion switch gears and bring you one of the most beautiful singles thus far in 2012. Nouvalis voice shines beautifully along the wonderfully constructed whines of lap steel and wonderful taps of the xylophone, this song left me in a ethereal coma. The album continues to weaves its way in and out of beautiful majestic musical landscapes, all the while keep in mind, this was a mixed media art project which was initially Nouvion’s photographs, and then Evan Abeele’s musical compositions to be built around those photographs (Miranda July, eat your heart out). While the albums flow seems to be a bit unsettled, the shear beauty of other tracks like “Bonfire” and “Kinds of Light” leave me weak in the knees. This album is a beautiful listen in it’s entirety, and I wouldn’t hesitate one moment to purchase the current LP “The Slideshow Effect”. Sub Pop done good!
Vacant Fever– Kill Kill Kill (Self Released)
Hit play and I think…. “doe’s Josh Homme have a new side project”, because he certainly could with the initial listening of vocals on opening track called “Restless and Young“; musically it has this mysterious tinged dark-psyche, synth-rock vibe to it, which I enjoy. What Vacant Fever brings to the Seattle scene is some more of that dark musical goodness thats picking up speed via Crypts, Nightmare Fortress and Golden Gardens. Second track “Kill Kill Kill” still maintains that dark vibe , but with the overbearing message of kill kill kill, which kind started to take on a creepier message every time I heard it. Track “Yeah Yeah”is a bit redundant, but takes it sound in another direction, which caught me off guard. “Like It or Not” is the poppiest track on the album, and I really fucking liked it, but at 1:22, it was like a premature ejaculation….I was bummed it was over already and wanted more. Frankly this is a good EP, but I am dying to hear a whole body of work to really get a feel for how this band may stretch it’s wings….. 5 songs is great, but I think I could come down with the “fever” with a few more tracks.