Reviews

Feral Harmonic

10/22/2009 | Thegobblersknob.com | www.thegobblersknob.com | Album Review
I love it when a record that is allegedly a "side-project" is just as if not more - enjoyable as the project that is technically an artists bread and butter gig. We've seen that recently with any number of Jack White's non-White Stripes endeavours, as well as the new Felice Brothers off-shoot, The Duke and The King. Now, I would like to add Appleseed Cast lead-man Chris Crisci's new Old Canes (Official / Myspace) record, Feral Harmonic (Saddle Creek) to that list.

Given that Crisci's "main gig" is an excellent post-rock outfit that churns out exciting instrumental tracks, it isn't exactly shocking to see there are a couple of instrumental tracks ("Intro" and "Black Hill Chapel") that find a way to be fully evolved and complete works, even without lyrical content. As has been noted in interviews with Crisci as well as various reviews for the album, the drum tracks were laid down first for this record. Perhaps as a result of that lofty priority, the propulsive nature of the beats take a raw and authoritative center-stage in many of the tunes. While the drums are given ample attention, the acoustic guitar playing is equally urgent and matches the dramatic drumming measure for measure. "Sweet" is a great example of that rhythmic symbiosis, as the cacophonous arrangement reminds me of Summerteeth-era Wilco. Chaos that never seems to be out of control keeps this album on a focused course.

The writing is rather poetic and the lyrics are given a dark and at times, ominous tone as the production lends the vocals a raw and somewhat ghostly veneer. Don't confuse the previous sentence and think this album is sad and somber, the pace of the majority of the songs keep things from getting too bleak. The mood lightens up a tad sonically with "Under". The tempo is slowed a touch to an appropriate level for a country-folk number that displays the range of Crisci's talent. While albums from Old Canes and Appleseed Cast are amazingly different in just about every way, musically at least, Crisci's expert sense of drama and deft touch with the building of a song are traits that each project share rather easily, it seems.
Feral Harmonic

Feral Harmonic

LP / CD / MP3




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Feral Harmonic

Feral Harmonic

LP / CD / MP3


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