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  • The Bye Bye Blackbirds - Houses And Homes (2008) - [Indie]

    2008-12-16

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    http://www.blogbus.com/jasonhsiung-logs/32563221.html

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     ARTiST: The Bye Bye Blackbirds
    ALBUM: Houses & Homes
    BiTRATE: 187kbps avg
    QUALiTY: EAC Secure Mode / LAME 3.97 Final / -V2 --vbr-new / 44.100Khz
    LABEL: American Dust
    GENRE: Indie
    SiZE: 47.08 megs
    PLAYTiME: 0h 33min 23sec total
    RiP DATE: 2008-12-15
    STORE DATE: 2008-09-30

    Track List:
    --------
    01. The Ghosts are Alright           5:02
    02. Shed the Skin                    2:50
    03. In Stereo                        4:57
    04. Edge of Town                     3:59
    05. Next Door                        2:17
    06. Original Lights                  3:10
    07. It Only Costs a Dime             2:10
    08. Leave a Light On                 3:50
    09. Murray Morgan's Last Dream       5:08

    Release Notes:
    --------
    From Honeymoon to Houses and homes – The Bye Bye Blackbirds’ new album offers
    memorable songs and lyrically a heightened sense of place, not straying much
    beyond the edge of town, but alive to the ghosts who have walked the same
    streets and leant against the same bars.  The set leads off with the song that
    encapsulates this, ‘The ghosts are alright’.  At first it seems too busy for its
    own good but with listening makes ever-increasing musical sense.  Its near
    euphoric harmonising is characteristic of the BBBs, as is the excess of ideas.
    It motors to its conclusion, with the bass not so much buzzing as fizzing; the
    ghosts are alive (and after the day before yesterday, these being Left Coast
    ghosts, no doubt they’re celebrating too).

    The whole recording hums with life.  On ‘In stereo’ cymbals sound like waves
    breaking on the shore while with ‘Leave a light on’, the Blackbirds come as
    close as anyone has to achieving the aura of the magically authentic analogue
    recording that Lee Mavers apparently always felt eluded the La’s.  The guitar
    crackles with gritty energy that contrasts beautifully with the harmonising
    above it.  And the group do this without being slaves to tradition or the
    limitations of past recording techniques.  Even when anachronistically choosing
    to cover the Everly Brothers’ ‘It only costs a dime’ – ‘it’s a song that makes
    absolutely no sense in an age where nothing costs a dime and pay phones no
    longer exist’ – they find a fit with their own contemporary sound and song
    writing, really attacking the song, as say the Jayhawks might have done.

    Neither are they afraid to experiment, giving over running time to music which
    defies four piece categorisation.  ‘Next door’ allows us some moments of
    melancholy guitar minimalism heard through a wall, while the album closing
    ‘Murray Morgan’s last dream’ recalls ‘I see the sun’ from Biff Bang Pow!’s 1987
    Creation LP Oblivion both in its stretched-out psychedelic ambience, and in the
    contrast it strikes with what the group is more usually about.

    At nine tracks, it’s perhaps one or two songs light of the classic forty minute
    album mark, but that’s to remain captive in the mindset of someone who grew up
    on albums; in the download age a complete artwork can be any length it needs or
    desires to be.  I’m left wanting more – the BBBs have opened up a number of
    mineral-filled seams and I hope they keep on mining them.

     

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