Put Your Gloves on and Wave
Guest review by Stephen
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.
Posted Dec. 11,
2002. Copyright © 2002 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
running your hand over the linens of a freshly made hotel bed;
smooth, even, crisp, flat, no bumps or snags, boring.."
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.