Monday, September 19, 2011

The Graves Brothers Deluxe || San Malo || Reviewing Vinyl

The men who form The Graves Brothers Deluxe are living proof that the longer you play as well as study the artform of music, the better you get at it.  What we will be taking a look at today is their new LP out on Too Long to Chew Music.  On a recent Blogcast I caught the frontman, Stoo Odom, spinning the Tales of how the album came about.  It is a story based on an island in swampland East of New Orleans where the oldest living inhabitants from the far east escaped the oppressive Spanish who enslaved them.  Traveling across the atlantic in 1740 they lived for 150 years in peace as well as relative obscurity until a hurricane wiped their tribe completely off the map.  No Survivors.  Fast forward 400 years and Katrina did the same for a lot of residents of the City of New Orleans.  When prompted, frontman Stoo shared that the more recent event had a catastrophic effect on his loved ones and he felt a kinship with the story of San Malo.  Parallel lines.  Events never change, just faces and and numerics.  Besides the tales they spin, this album comes in custom orange vinyl decorated with pink and red dots, just like someone threw paint  on a wall.  A real beauty.  Not sure who or what is behind the album artwork, but you guys get an A+ for originality.

 Side One:
1.SanMalo National Anthem- Heavy Duty.  Let's you know where this album is about to go to.  2.I'm Fine-Chorus is arrogant and awesome.  3.Splinters- Vocal performance is one of the best on the album.  Drumming out of this jazzy world.  4.Five Foot Category Five- Primus meets Tom Waits (did I just say that?) The least favorite thing on this side is that little RHCP break.  It's not that I don't like the break, its just everything else is off the hook with originality up to this point on the album.  5.Vulture Sing- The Guitar work on this tune is spectacular, and I don't even want to about the tones these guys are getting down. Nice stuff!

Side Two:
1.My Heart Burned Down Today- This second side starts off with a sick and twisted love song.....just waiting for that coming train.  It teases you just enough with a sick groove that really comes to life on the second verse.  Then dumps you.  2.Papio Paio (The Swamp Ape Again)- We are back into religion.  Is it the religion of fast paced chase scenes a la McQueen in bullet?  I think so.  It builds drama and pace and I might add, is awesome to see live and in person.  3.La Balada De San Malo- Another brilliant number. Short pulsating buzzsaws sung in a foreign language.  God dammit!  That guitar is so short & repetitive...all the while being too good.  The buzz is created through the bass (which is the buzziest instrument in the band).  It adds just enough of a pause to build tension and it's littered through out this gem.  I wish I could cover this one.  4.Noisy Kind of Nothing- Noiso tales of life on the island of San Malo.  5.Fifty Years Later on the Bayou Skimmer -There is a goat on the album.  I keep listening to this song to try to understand the significance of it on the album, to see if there is something I am missing.  To the artist it must mean something, however I follow the live rule...would I want to see it performed live and in person. Probably not.  Everything else on the album I would and I have.  And hopefully I will see it again real soon.

Thumbs Up!

Here is a little live Graves Brothers Deluxe for ya...

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