Reviews

Feral Harmonic

11/13/2009 | Aversion.com | www.aversion.com | Album Review
It might not bode well for rock's continued, ongoing existence that so many hot, young bands are turning their back on traditional rock and its myriad sub-genres to embrace folk, Americana and a host of other pre-rock sounds. It might not be a good signal that indie rock is quickly turning into indie folk, or that half of this year's most anticipated releases are played on an acoustic guitar and could probably have been released in the early '60s without too many people batting an eye.

Old Canes' Feral Harmonic might not be taken as a good omen for rock music in general, either, as Appleseed Cast's Chris Crisci walks away from the loud stuff to record a record that falls back on traditional American music. Another rocker bails on the style to play the folk game.

Feral Harmonic might be seen as a bad sign for rock's future, but that's misconstruing it. Crisci, who plays nearly everything on the album, isn't fleeing from rock convention into the past as Old Canes. He's pushing rock's methods and ethos back in time. Here isn't a rock musician playing at being a folk musician, but a rock musician making folk music. The distinction is subtle, but important. Feral Harmonic doesn't fall back on tradition. It rekindles it, reinvents it and reuses it.

"Sweet" takes country strumming and sets it alongside string instrumentation that shows hints of Belle and Sebastian's orchestral side, as Old Canes firmly holds onto its American roots. If "Flower Faces" is built on an acoustic riff, it's one that might even work better on an electric guitar, all energy and downstrokes; an organ comes into play in the background to mollify the rock side. "Little Bird Courage" takes a rambling, West Texan guitar riff and layers on glockenspiel and brass as if it were a modern pop-rock number.

Old Canes aren't deserting rock music. Crisci is embracing rock's most basic tradition, devouring the old to make something new. He's more rooted in folk and Americana, but he's still a rock musician at heart. Have no fear, rock fans. Your future is still secure.
Feral Harmonic

Feral Harmonic

LP / CD / MP3




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Feral Harmonic

Feral Harmonic

LP / CD / MP3


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