|Ticonderoga / Heilig-Levine Lp, The|
|Add Date:||2006-01-15|| ||Pull Date:||2006-03-19|| |
|Week Ending:||19 Mar||26 Feb||19 Feb||12 Feb||5 Feb||29 Jan||22 Jan|
|matthew stark rubin|
Ticonderoga, Heilig-Levine LP. 54 40 or fight, 2005. FCC: 1, 13|
Reviewed by DJ Matthew Stark Rubin, 1/11/2005.
Subdued and indie-sized math rock. Smells like Tortoise, but more song-based and poppier melodies. Actually, almost like a (really) lo-fi radiohead, but jazzier. Guitar playing is incredibly complex but with the perfect ear for melody. Drumming is precise but sloppily polyrhythmic in the best way. Synths used liberally throughout but with good discretion as percussive counterpoints as much as melody. The mood is sadly contemplative but not deeply depressed. The voice sounds honest, not put-on: what Southern actually sounds like when not eroticized. Great arrangement/instrumentation. When it’s pretty, it’s beautiful.
My picks: 3, 8, 13
1 (FCC)- given the FCC, not even worth describing.
2- very jazzy, jerky drums. Synths do a lotta work on this one. The a capella section is pretty stupid and over-intellectual though. Segues into track 3
3- segue from track 2. Gorgeous, absolutely GORGEOUS acoustic ballad. Segues non-sensically into track 3
4-segues in from track 3 but can be started on its own. Sounds a bit too much like Hail to the Thief Radiohead. Nice, weeping strings. Starts to rock hard around minute two. Ends with somewhat ambient mellow section.
5- USELESS INTERLUDE DO NOT PLAY
6- poppy straight-ahead synth and crunchy guitar rocker.
7- Deeper and more funereal jazz rocker. At 2:00, Mum/Sigur Ros synth/blip-driven section before return to darker rendition of original motif a minute later.
8- Starts with beautiful vox/acoustic guitar folk styling. Joined by band for poppier but still rhythmically captivating sections. Great but emo-ish lyrics. Ambient noise at end that segues into track 8
9- segues in from track 8- fade in. ambient, post-apocalyptic soundbed driven by snare rolls and some intermittent acoustic guitar noodling. Experimental coda with strings and some general exploration of different odd sounds.
10- USELESS INTERLUDE DO NOT PLAY
11- Another pretty acoustic/vox intro followed by full band accompaniment. Followed, out-of-the-blue, by unexpectedly victorious horn section every now and again. Minute 7 brings another synth-blip driven search for life on other planets.
12- groovy, piano-led jazz rock with straight-ahead drumming.
13 (FCC: BITCH)- BEAUTIFUL. Cello/acoustic guitar playing off each other in a dark intro, gives way to homey folk of the most honest, lovely variety, with great blippy synths adding just the right about of unstable fragility. Touching.