Author: Capt. Obvious
10/03/2009 | Thankscaptainobvious.net | www.thankscaptainobvious.net | Album Review
For those of you who missed out on it, Chris Crisci, who you may know as the lead singer of post-rockers The Appleseed Cast, put out an impressive little folk album entitled Early Morning Hymns under the moniker Old Canes back in 2004. Newly signed to Omaha's lauded Saddle Creek Records and equipped with a new album entitled Feral Harmonic, which is due out 10/20, Crisci returns with his brand of infectiously upbeat folk-rock. Fans of Early Morning Hymns will recognize Old Canes' signature sound immediately on the jangly "Little Bird Courage." There's that same lo-fi, Neutral Milk Hotel-reminiscent aesthetic and the same interplay of ramshackle acoustic guitars, rattled drums, uplifting horns, and random thriftstore-found instruments. For the most part, Crisci's lyrics extend the positive, hopeful vibe of Early Morning Hymns. On "Little Bird Courage," he sings: "When I'm thirsty/ You are the fountain/ In the face of danger/ I am not afraid." While the sentiments on the album dwell in a positive vein, Crisci's lyrics sometimes take a turn for the cautionary. On "Trust," he warns: "Little one be careful/ There are people out there who steal your soul." It seems Crisci is well aware of the ugliness in the world, but Old Canes has always seemed like a project more focused on learning to keep your head up rather than burying it in the ground. If you read this blog, you'll know my affection for sad music. It's poignant because it sheds light on the suffering so common to the human condition, but sometimes there's nothing better than opening the curtains. Feral Harmonic feels a bit like much needed sunlight.