Six Organs of Admittance – Shelter from the Ash

December 6, 2007 at 5:55 pm (Dual reviews)

shelter.jpg

So, our first review, well on this site. Will we agree, will we disagree, will it make any difference seeing as a)you dont know what either of us like and b) probably arent reading this anyway? If somebody says something libelous and no-one reads it, does that mean they cant sue? I refuse to let the fact that Ben Chasny has STOLEN MY WIFE in anyway reflect my feelings about this album. Sure, he and Elissa Ambrogio teamed up for the slightly more ambient Blaast album, and then she gives some backing vocals on three tracks here, but I could accept that (though why he doesnt let her play any guitar is beyond me. just because he is a very good guitarist and Ambrogio goes down more the hitting with a drum stick approach, and she does have a good voice, which goes well with his, er, unique, singing) but then i heard they were dating. Fucking hell. So, in a way, my relationship with Ben is reflected on the album, starting quietly and getting loud (and slightly angry. well loud and less focused with more wig outs and less finger picking) finishing with a more sombre tone as i realise i want to marry the singer from HTRK instead.

If this review were a game of taboo the following words would be banned: Acid drenched folk rock “finger licking good” (see what i did there?)

4/5

STAGE DIRECTIONS: Simon stops reviewing. Liam starts:

For some reason I was expecting this to sound like Oneida. Now Simon tells me this is one of the guys from Comets on Fire, and what I want this to sound like is Oneida with swooshy delay fuckery all over the top. That would be awesome.
Suffice to say, that is not what this sounds like.
Initial impressions are not good – droney not-actually-a-sitar noises, some lazy ‘world music’ type guitar work, and… is that CHANTING? Mother of god, it’s like hanging out with the really earnest kids at a ‘69 sit-in, when all the real flower children are fucking and dancing on LSD down the street.
And now you drop a big electric guitar solo in there too, genius? Why? Breaking out some overdriven scree over twinkly acoustics just sounds like the breakdown in a Guns ‘n’ Roses power ballad. EVERY TIME.

The sections of pure acoustic guitar melody work are nice enough –the beginning of ‘Goddess Atonement’ brings Jack Rose to mind (at least it would do if I could stop cringing over the song title) –but realistically I’m not going to climb over John Fahey to get to this. And anyway, then he fucks it up by doubling the melody line with an electric guitar, some boomy drums come in, and I swear I can hear Axl gearing up to break back into the chorus. Oh, except then it just drops back into the acoustic bit and peters out. And that is what we call ‘dynamics’, children.

Frankly, I’m fed up of this freak/psych/folk/new-weird-americana thing and the ill-considered, half-arsed records its proponents are putting out. I watched Akron/Family the other week and I still can’t tell if they were taking the piss. Write some tunes and listen to more hip-hop, Benny boy.

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