Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gareth Dickson, Loma Prieta and Themselves

Gareth Dickson
Collected Recordings
(2009, Drifting Fall Recordings)
RIYL = Nick Drake, David Thomas Broughton, Scott Tuma

The title to Gareth Dickson’s most recent album, Collected Recordings, sounds as if the songs were gathered together from old scraps or off of out of print titles. Unfortunately, I don’t really know much about Mr. Dickson's prior releases, so whether or not this stuff is completely new is unknown by me. However, what I do know is that Dickson has the ability to heal souls with his soothing brand of acoustic guitar work and vocal work. When you first hear his voice, it is impossible not to think of Nick Drake, yet his slow, atmospheric guitar work is more reminiscent of modern folk soundscapist, Scott Tuma. The combination of the two titanic musical figures in Dickson’s work is awe inspiring. Eleven lengthy tracks sliced straight from heaven. Plus, isn’t any album really just a bunch of collected recordings?

Loma Prieta
Dark Mountain 12”
(2009, self released?)
RIYL = American Football, Converge, Pg. 99

Following up their debut from last year, Dark Mountain maintains the exact same aesthetic Last City, which isn’t a bad thing, especially since Last City and Dark Mountain make up about half a album each. Filled with short melodic bursts of post hardcore madness, Loma Prieta are attempting to fill the giant gap in my life where post hardcore, hardcore and punk music should be. Maybe I’m blind, or perhaps not a good enough student of the scene, but Loma Prieta is pretty much the only band in the vein of ‘heavy’ that I have really enjoyed recently. Solid solid stuff from the San Francisco bludgeoners.

(2009, Anticon)

Adam Drucker, AKA Doseone and ½ of Themselves, is a vocal magician of around a million vocal personas, and on CrownsDown he seems bent on using everyone. Whether it be his gritty battle rap mode or his more song oriented, multi-layered pop vocals, or everything inbetween - he even uses autotune! In addition vocal styles, Doseone is probably the fastest rapper out there when he wants to be. some of the lightning speed verbosity on CrownsDown is absolutely insane. You have to give Jel credit for keeping up with Dose on every syllable. Together the duo seems bent on making as straightforward a hip hop album the two are capable of. Fortunately for us, Themselves aren’t very good at making straightforward hip hop. In fact, the best moments on the album are when the two veer into experimental pop territory. Take “Daxstrong” for example, the track is probably my very favourite track of 2009 with its down tempo drum beat and vocals that eventually transform into a kind of Tv on the Radio croon. CrownsDown is a fresh change of pace for Doseone and Jel, regardless of whether you like them more in Subtle. Sorry for the sloppy review. I promised myself I'd post regardless of the writing quality.

-Thistle (who else?)


Mantis said...

Your best (+ saddest) byline yet.

mersenne_twister said...

Agree about Loma Prieta, Last City was amazing.