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Halifax Pier

Put Your Gloves on and Wave

Temporary Residence Ltd.

Guest review by Stephen Sheehan


Somewhere along the way I heard someone say: Nothing kills creativity faster than democracy. I was reminded of that phrase while listening to this 6-song disc by Halifax Pier. There is a photo of the band inside the booklet that is visually representative of how the music felt. Here are six musicians (two guitars, bass, drums, cello and violin) sitting in a large circle inside what looks like a sterile music room in a school. No one has eye contact with anyone else. The songs on the CD blur into one another with no real distinction. They're all mid-tempo, mid-volume exercises that could have been recorded in one day in between classes or study halls. The results on this CD could have been at least interesting if there'd been greater contrast within the arrangements, either using volume and silence or if all the instruments weren't playing all the time from start to finish. Instead it's like running your hand over the linens of a freshly made hotel bed; smooth, even, crisp, flat, no bumps or snags, boring. I can't shake the feeling that no one in the group had any real vision of the songs; they just decided to play together to see what would happen and they decided to record it and release it. With better judgment these songs would have stayed off a CD so that more work could have been done which might have yielded better results. But honestly I doubt it.

back torevhead.gif (1924 bytes)   Posted Dec. 11, 2002. Copyright 2002 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Rating: No

Obligatory pull-quote: "...Like running your hand over the linens of a freshly made hotel bed; smooth, even, crisp, flat, no bumps or snags, boring.."


Tim Says:

This isn't for everyone -- a preponderance of strings -- cello, fiddle, bass and guitars -- it's chamber music in sort of a Lullaby for the Working Class / Mayday vein -- dark, gloomy, flowing, a challenge -- rock music this ain't. The more I listen to it, the more I like it, especially the way the strings support the melodies, the interplay between cello and guitar, the subtle vocal harmonies. However, there's no doubting the overall lack of variety in the compositions -- by the fourth track, interest wanes and never returns.

Rating: No