Thursday, May 16, 2013

CASSETTE REVIEW: Shivering Window “Inner-Expo” (Juniper Tree Sounds)

Shivering WindowInner-Expo” (Juniper Tree Sounds)
<1> “I Wanna Never Ever” – Wow that came on loud with a Tarantino guitar riff and some of those sort of screaming vocals but not.  This right away is kind of reminding me of Trail of Dead, which is definitely a good thing.   Now the chaos is being pulled back a bit.  We have a distorted guitar riff leading us into another round of distorted madness.  Yes, there are male vocals, but no, I cannot make out over the incredibly loud and static filled guitar chords what he is singing about.  That was a seemingly quick song.
<2> “Pretty Creepers” – This song begins with a guitar riff that could be out of Nirvana, until these two little notes come out that remind me of Semisonic for some reason.  The vocals have become a little bit clearer, but I think that much like everything else on this album the vocals are being fed through some distortion effect.   Though I could understand in the chorus that he was singing about a girl who is a pretty creeper.   This song is a little bit more pulled back than the first one, and it’s a bit more structured.  It’s like the difference between “Tourette’s” and just about any other song on “In Utero” that has a beat.  Okay, maybe “All Apologies” isn’t the best up there, but hey, I’m listening to a tape here!
<3> “Small Town Rabies” – Well, now the guitar chords to this song make me think of 1960s rock n roll.  The vocals come in like High Pop and the music is a result of what happened when people realized they should no longer put grease in their hair.   I can only vaguely hear a drum beat behind the vocals and guitar, but I don’t know if it’s so much about the levels for the recording or just that the guitar is so loud.  And now we’re getting some feedback that just killed a dog walking by outside.  [Editor’s Note: No dogs were harmed in the writing of this review.  It was actually a very hairy child]  And the song ends again.   These songs have been pretty quick so far, but hey, I like when music gets right to the point.   Before I stop typing to switch sides, let me say that the idea of this being male vocals + loud electric guitar is not lost on me to compare it to the mighty Ted Leo.   Change sides!
<4> “Blue House, Gray House, Yellow House, Red House” – This song title feels like a Dr. Seuss book.  Does anyone other than me feel that way or is it just because I have a son now?   And we begin like Roy Orbison.  This song is like “Pretty Woman”, only not.  I don’t really know a lot of other music from that time frame to compare this with, though I suppose I should brush up on my music history one day.  And yes, in the chorus they did name off all the houses and their various colors.  Is someone auditioning for a spot on Yo Gabba Gabba?  This band has also become a great example of how to make distorted garage rock without sounding like The White Stripes (in the distorted way) or The Thermals.   I still can only vaguely hear other instruments with the guitar.  And the song ends with something sharp.
<5> “I Can’t Sleep Underground” – This could be closer to Nirvana than any other song on here thus far, at least musically.  And yes, I woke up listening to Nirvana covers this morning, so there you go.   What I find really kind of funny is that these songs (thus far) sound like the demo tapes I used to make in my bedroom when I was in my teens.   Okay, maybe this album sounds like what I *remember* those tapes sounding like, when in actuality they were far, far worse because I could never play guitar patterns such as these.  This song has guitar notes held out for a while, but not long enough to be drone, so it’s like mini-drone in some ways.  I don’t know.  The next song started so I need to be down there.
<6> “Even God’s Lowliest Creatures Want Love”  - Yes, these whispery vocals with the guitar riff sounds like some existing band.   No, I cannot place whom.   Although as the chorus kicks in it gets distorted and louder, so I like that.  I might be showing how little I know about the creation of music here (I knew I should have finished that David Byrne book!) but for some reason I imagine him stepping on a pedal to change effects from verse to chorus.  No?  Maybe?  In any event, I do like the idea of this song.  Except for maybe some really lowly creatures.  Ants always seemed to be too much the workers to want or care about love, let alone realize that it exists in the first place.  And I will leave you with that thought. 

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