Swim In The Silence
~reviewed by Goat
The experience of listening to this has been a series of cringes, deep frowns, jaw-clenching, and sadness that the good bits are surrounded by such horrors.
One, most of the lyrics are atrocious. In that, “I’m in a band and I’m so deep” kind of way. On the other hand, that describes about 97.977% of popular music. Then there’s the singing which smacks of vocal lessons and trying too hard. Jim Morrison churchboy imitations, et al. I’m not a big fan of vocal lessons because I feel it makes everyone sound basically the same. I’ll take a Tom Waits or a Mary Margaret O’Hara any day to a technically trained and correct vocalist.
So. Compared to what’s on the radio at any given time, this would make radioplay just fine. They could even hit the bigtime, who knows.
But the thing that bothers me most about this is that there is something real and beautiful that shimmers just underneath the trying so hard. I wish it were something that could be easily identified, so I could say, “If they’d just drop the 80s bar band act,” or, “If they could just stop trying to be deep and astro-logically profound.” I just can’t say. What’s wrong about the recordings is all of the above. But what’s *right* is weaved right in there with the worst of it.
The best of what shines through reminds me of several things. Toad The Wet Sprocket’s “Walk On The Ocean” days. Eric Andersen, the 60s folk singer, (who’s still going strong, by the way). Mark Lanegan. Patrick Ogle. Stan Ridgway.
There is promise here. There is beauty that shimmers through. Maybe next album they’ll nail it.