Advertisement

Subscribe
to the
Weekender

Advertisement

Album Review: We Shave – Cuts

Posted by John Schlotfelt | Aug 22, 2012 | Album Reviews

We Shave
Cuts (Sangre Libre Records)
soundcloud.com/weshave

We Shave make pretty pop for music nerds. Their latest EP, Cuts, was recorded in a time-space rift where blue-eyed soul, garage rock, kraut rock and hints of no-wave get along like old friends at the bar. But the real secret to We Shave isn’t the genre splicing. The magic of the duo is the effortless and simple pairing of Bendan Spengler’s mesmerizing organ vamps and the commanding vocals of Lindsay Chastain. It’s a simple equation that adds up to the most successful cuts on Cuts.

Opening track “The Bridge” launches with a triumphant organ blast that should intro a crooked preacher in a traveling religious revival before pushing into a pulsating organ line for Chastain’s detached croon. The waltz is a dirge for the death of the cold and isolating city and a call to “hit the country instead.” It’s the first of many bleak portraits of modern life that plead for a less materialistic and a more hands-on way of life.

We Shave follows up the haunting mantra at the end of “The Bridge” with the playful mysticism of “HooDoo.” Spengler’s organ is bright and chirpy as Chastain doles out sweet syrupy lines filled with vague imagery about men who take your heart and brains and store them in jars. “HooDoo” gets an electrifying assist from a jolt of fuzzed-out guitar in the chorus; it’s one of a handful of additions to the duo’s sound that packs a big punch in a small dose and gives Chastain’s coos some extra life.

But We Shave does just fine by themselves with a drum machine handling percussion duties. One of the most successful tracks on the album, “Burning Hand,” is built around baroque-pop motif laid down by Spengler, backed by toy-drum thump and carried by the double-tracked drone of Chastain’s velvety voice.

John C. Schlotfelt

BUY HALF-PRICE GIFT CARDS

Generously offered by businesses in the Iowa City area

Blog Comments

[…] Telepathic, in April. White Mystery will play at The Mill on Feb. 28. Local acts Good Habits and We Shave […]

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Articles from Little Village

Posted by genevieve-heinrich
“Let’s go back to Maggie Valley,” lopes Brian Johannesen’s precision drawl at the outset of the opening track to his just-released Northern Town. Track two, “Cascade Mountain Nights,” embraces the...
Posted by paul-osgerby
Thomas Kamholz, a.k.a. Attentat, has been a part of the underground electronic scene for two decades; he’s DJed and performed at raves from the New Mexico desert to the Colorado...
Posted by nate-logsdon
The debut self-titled album from the Fairfield synth-pop trio Cubits is an entrancing, haunting listen that you’ll want to hide inside of for a few days — like the blanket...