"Happy 26th Birthday" opens with this old time piano in a western bar type of feel. I'm not sure what I did for my 26th birthday. I know I lived in Houston, I was married but didn't have a kid yet, and well that was longer ago than I'm willing to admit. It's like this episode of "Growing Pains" I remember where Mike was pondering whether or not he'd just coast through his 30's the same way he did his 20's and I ask myself that question every single day.
At the heart of it all, Wait And Shackle could be best described as math rock. Layered vocals provide a focus on the lyrics and sometimes they even seem to go in circles. Somewhere between bands like I Kill Giants and The Canterbury Effect this can even have more music than words for the most part but even the final track is instrumental. Musically, it is just something that you need to hear as it has a more aggressive handle on math rock and yet doesn't feel all that heavy at times and can even remind me of Pinback at times.
(Side Note: I met a woman on a dating site once who was in love with Pinback and then when she told me she wanted me to be her soulmate after only texting back and forth for a few weeks and I told her we should take it slower than all that she ghosted me) ((Side Side Note: It took me a while to remember the name Pinback))
"Caps 4 $ale (Eleven)" is really the song that should hook you. When you listen to it, if you enjoy what you hear let the rest of the songs play and if not, well, I don't know what to tell you because I just find it to be delightful. When the song is done quoting Coelho it seems to turn into a different song, which is one of the math rock aspects of this all (songs within songs, songs shifting into other songs but remaining the same song) and the lyrics seem to prove my math rock point:
I said my favorite number is eleven
i said my favorite colour is eleven
i said my favorite rhythm is eleven
i said my favorite measure is irrelavant
What is special about the number eleven? It is a prime number, sure, but I'm far more fascinated by the number 9 and not just because of the movies it has had about it. Still, I like math and I like numbers in general so all of this speculation about the number 11 makes me even more into this album because anything which leaves us thinking about such things is tops in my book.