Reviews

Old Blood

Author: Ryan
06/08/2002 | Silent Uproar | www.silentuproar.com | Album Review
There's got to be something in the water in Omaha. Or maybe it's just the desolate Bible-belt upbringings or the ceaseless cornrows that induce creation out of monotony. Despite what the cause is - the ardent musical fever does in fact spread like wildfire in that certain eastern Nebraska city. And lucky for all of us roving music fanatics, Saddle Creek Records have honed their perceptiveness and sharpened their ears to give the fine musicians of Omaha an outlet into the world. Adjoining the ranks of the Saddle Creek elite are Mayday - folk rock regulars that send a trail of tears down the melancholic page of the classic rock textbook.

Though the official moniker of Mayday may be new to indie name-swappers, such names as Lullaby for the Working Class, Cursive, Bright Eyes and Azure Ray are not. Ted Stevens, the mastermind and orchestrater of Mayday, endows his voice box for the famed tunesters in Lullaby for the Working Class and has previously enlisted in the eminence of the remaining few listed. And now, after sifting through years of amounting demo material he emerges with an album - Old Blood, the brainchild of Stevens that weeps, laments and swaggers in the way that old fashioned folksters use to rock it with only the best of their friends.

Mayday pieces together the usual entanglement of proto-folk rock through the twang of a banjo ["Captain"], the crinkle of an ethereal distortion pedal ["Come Home"] and the glazing dichotomy of hauntingly torrid male/female whispers ["I Know Moonlight"]. However, Mayday captures its swirl of solitude and desperation of distanced hope most awe-inspiringly in the dream catcher entitled "Cinquefoils." Through the tick-tocking drum murmurs that mirror a poetic heartbeat, trembling organ underscores and deep emotive plucks, Mayday entrances the mind and prods at the nervous system in captivating fragility that could only be done by the strokes of the adept.

Old Blood exerts heart-bulging heaps of emotion through a kaleidoscope of guitars and its cousins as well as keys from pianos, organs and any other instrument Stevens can construe among the porous textures of Mayday. Although not groundbreaking or overtly precarious, Mayday does etch its name into the indie folk side of rock as a modern bookmark explicating the past while leaving the door ajar just enough for a bit of swelling experimentation.
Old Blood

Old Blood

CD / MP3




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