Sunday, June 29th, 2008
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 93
|The Awkward Stage / Slimming Mirrors, Flattering Lights (Mint)
On The Awkward Stage’s debut Heaven Is For Easy Girls, Shane Nelken’s wry, sardonic lyricism was perfectly matched to archly orchestral arrangements that served to deliver their barbed and frequently hilarious sentiments in that much more pointed fashion. With the follow-up, he’s chosen to take a more guitar rock approach, maintaining the meticulous production aesthetic but adding considerably more muscle to the sound. In doing so, he’s proven he’s as adept at crafting loud and unrelentingly melodic power pop as his more famous compadre AC Newman but not without a cost – by making the musical accompaniment so rock out-able, it’s entirely possible to make it through the entire album without appreciating his songwriting because you’re too busy playing air guitar.
|Ghost Bees / Tasseomancy (Youth Club)
Reviewers attempting to work the “twin sisters from Canada making music” angle with Halifax’s Ghost Bees in order to reference another better-known act to whom that applies will quickly find themselves in a dead end. Led by the tightly woven harmonies of Romy and Sari Lightman, Ghost Bees evoke turn of the century folk – not this century, the last one – rendered in mandolin and lace. Richly anachronistic with references historical and fanstastical, the mood on this six-song EP is austere and creepy, like standing in an immaculately-kept Victorian house and though you can’t see them, you know there’s spiders everywhere.
Ghost Bees are at Rancho Relaxo this Thursday night with Laura Barrett and Fall Horsie.