Places You Call Home
label: Teenage USA Records
our score: 2.5 out of 5.0
buy it: here
Mean Red Spiders
evoke the evenings of my appropriately wasted youth when my friends
and I couldn't wait to get good pot from our gold-chained dealer
and head to Detroit for the latest Boo Radley's single. It's been
awhile, and lately I've noticed a resurgence in bands walling
themselves in ambient drone and vocals that sounds like a thin
layer of dry ice tendrils. The trouble with Mean Red Spiders comes
from the fact that even at the apex of "shoegazing"
they would have sounded like bands like Revolver, dug up by A&
R grubs to soak up trend seeking cash. Though, in all fairness,
Mean Red Spiders can't possibly be accused of mining a pan flash
that happened almost a decade prior to this release.
Call Home fares best on the revved up early Velocity Girl numbers
like "Necktie" which contains several interludes of
loud, woozy, strum. "Meanness" amps up the noises even
further and sounds like an underwater garage band. "Belle
Elmore" recycles the paper angel vocals of Lush with a typical
cake-layered backdrop. It fails in its unraveled, wandering pace.
"Iiieves Cove" adds a jangly ring to the ether, but
it only makes the music sound brittle and thin, like something
that would make your fillings ache.
I'm not trying
to be surly. Tranquil, shimmery washes of sound can be almost
primally enveloping when they're done right. But songs like "Max"
and "Places You Call Home" have better down tempo contemporaries
in techno acts like Four Tet and Boards of Canada. The struggle
for any band in this vein, is avoiding the easy drift into backdrop.
Call Home is a swatch book of old shoegazer bands, Slowdive during
the slower bits and sometimes Stereolab when the haze gets cranked
up a notch. Far from horrible, this album just never stakes out
any new ground or succeeds in any old modes. Frankly, it's just
terminally slurred vagueness.
liked Places You Call Home...
2. Iiieves Cove
3. Trains and Boats and Planes
5. Belle Elmore
6. I Recognize
8. Eat Without Sowing
10. Places You Call Home