What happened to the Thrice we know and love? The band that would rock so hard that their guitar straps would tear apart mid song? The pop sensible hardcore band that was able to interchange gutteral screams with high flying sing along choruses? Tour. Tour happened.
Theirs is a music for the winter months, for grey skies and wrapping up warm in black clothes definately not sunny beach adventures! Lucky they released it now then…
This year saw the doom world reaching new lows with the almighty incantations of a strenghthened ASVA, originally formed in the droning wake of Burning Witch by B.R.A.D. and G. Stuart Dahlquist and now with the pair having forged allegiance with Jessika Kenney, Troy Swanson, John Schuller and Trey Spruance.
First track “Kill the Dog, Tie Them Up, Then Take the Money” is an archetypical doom track, with epic downtuned, downtempo progressions in the tradition of Black Sabbath or the aforementioned Burning Witch.
This debut mini is produced by A’s Jason Perry who manages to forgo his band’s pop-metal bludgeon and bring The Riverclub’s melodic sensibilities to the fore. Opener “We’re on Empty Again” rattles along with the requisite buzzsaw guitars and shouty chorus and “Call If You Want To” does exactly the same – but even better.
“Sailing By Night”s folky melodics develop into a darker keys, synth strings take over and enveloping drum repetitions build and finish the song along with keyboard dramatics
the comfortably small Freebutt was filled and its foundations almost threatened by the mass barrage of sound created by the five men inhabiting its small stage
The lead track on this EP, “Bootprints” is a gorgeous hammond pop swoon. The parping horns and catchy chorus of Blur or Badly Drawn Boy coupled with the King’s almost Ian Dury vocals.
organised by the wonderful Eat You Own Ears night and Kieran Hebden (Mr. Four Tet), and they put together a flawlessly cool line-up in support of Four Tet’s multiple-tronica’s (i.e. folk, jazz, glitch): German legends Faust, Aussie DJ Kid Koala and Texan sky scrapers Explosions in the Sky.
The dance sound identifiable behind much of his work here explodes into an uplifting, cinematic house party — instead of a pulse underpinning depressed post-rock bardsmanship though this is a beach anthem, and much more uplifting than the title suggests.
The music obviously draws from a range of sources from disco, house, hip-hop and electro to punk or metal and the noisier, dirtier sounds of all of the above came out. The show was pacy and energetic, more so than the recordings, and added an overall heaviness and volume which magnified its effect.
Meatier, heavier, harsher and an all-round better offering than its predecessor (2002’s Repercussions of a Badly-Planned Suicide), In the library… shows off a bigger stylistic and technical range and draws on different traditions to create a diverse and compelling album.
Songs from all his collaborations and different handles are included and, interestingly, the different markers set throughout his career seem to sit well together on one long player.
One thing they’re not is more of the same disco beat. Many art-rock bands are all cool and slick, all narrow eyed grove; Awful Sparks have the shambolic energy of a boarding school dormitory ten minutes before lights out.
It’s albums like this that reveal Funk music’s a transcendent production of the human spirit. I literally haven’t stop dancing to this ‘ish’ since the LP dropped.
There are certain records that take you back to beautiful, hazy days of never-ending summer sunshine and joy, records that evoke that the best of times, carefree and footloose, the aural equivalent of a week on a beach with a bottle of gin and a beautiful woman.
If the dance hall in Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962) contained Daffy Duck and friends and groups of children chuckling to themselves, then Fantomas would be seen on the stage.
The tone of this record is a decidedly more subdued one that his last release. If Rockin’ the Suburbs was the disc you played at the party Saturday night, then Songs for Silverman is the CD you pop in on the way to breakfast the next morning.