Thursday, April 14, 2005

Shipping News

Flies The Fields
This is one of those discs that does not leave a CD player for months. I listened to Rodan: Rusty daily for two years straight. It is strange to think that record is over a decade old. This equals, even surpasses the greatness of “Save Everything,” the Shipping News first disc. The band with the addition of Todd Cook has really become a cohesive unit. On early work there was always the June of 44 sounding song or the Rachel’s sounding one. I can not tell really which song is Jeff’s and which ones are Jason’s besides who is singing.

Some have claimed that after the more experimental explorations on their last disc Three-Four that this album is a step backwards. I wholeheartedly disagree. Like Sonic Youth who delve into more out there territory with their SYR series, RMSN explores more abstract sound-scapes. They now take their knowledge from those explorations and apply it to the full on rock of this current album.

“Axons & Dendrites” is a slowly building number. It starts off with the drums alone, followed by the other instruments. The song builds up to a crescendo just as the vocals join the mix. The best song on the disc is “untitled with drums,” which features the great vocal accompaniment of Fay Davis. It is a simple almost droney number. “I am not afraid for the future,” is about as hopeful as the lyrics on this disc get. The last track features a great lumbering Bass of the newest member of the RMSN brood, Todd Cook. I can imagine that when this song is preformed live that it can be extremely cathartic. This record matches the times we are living in…it is extremely bleak and filled with impending doom. Considering that the bastard Bush got “re-elected” maybe the dark mood is entirely appropriate. (1/4 Stick Records) (Dan Cohoon)