July 2008


Reviewed by Julian Wilson

LambBone/Wild Man

It took me a couple of spins to get the hang of LambBone. The self-proclaimed Wild Man of the title, John Lamb isn’t kidding around. Wild Man sounds like what Steely Dan would’ve recorded under the influence of some Summer of Love fumes. Lamb is out of control, slapping together parts of jazz, psychedelia (check out the spaced-out Moog on the title track), Beatles-esque classic rock, Latin pop, and funk. Yet, somehow, someway, Lamb manages to weave the car crash together into a quirky one-man symphony. And who said rock & roll has lost its power to stun, to surprise?

Thankfully, Wild Man is no exercise in studio-musician excess. Lamb isn’t throwing everything into the mix but the kitchen sink just for the sake of it. There are some terrific songs hiding beneath Lamb’s seemingly experimental collages of rhythm and melody. The enigmatic “Object of Desire” has an infectiously toe-tapping beat while the kiss-off “News” disguises its knife-sharp words with percolating tropical grooves. Even the instrumental, “John’s Theme,” moves the heart as well as the mind. It might take a little patience, but Wild Man rewards the ears with every listen.

http://www.lambbone.com

Reviewed by Julian Wilson

Farchild/Chivalry Has Died

“Do you smile when I look up/Or does your hand promptly move down to the back of my pants?” sings Farchild on “Ey, Papi,” a brutally frank demand for r-e-s-p-e-c-t directed towards male horndogs. Even though she doesn’t slam the floor with big, metallic guitars, with “Ey, Papi” there’s no doubt that Farchild is from Seattle, especially when she warns, “Make sure that hand stays firmly around my waist/Cause if it slips without permission you might find yourself/Losing a tooth.” Quite edgy and tough, but Seattle rock has never been known for its softness, right?

However, Farchild isn’t “rock.” Although “Timmy’s a Rebel” and “Orbital” have their share of prime, speaker-filling Seattle riffola, Farchild’s music most often powered by keyboards. If Tori Amos, instead of just dating Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails at one point, had actually fronted for his group, the result might’ve been like this album. The slow piano track “Natural Solitude” certainly has that Amos-like dimly-lit introspection but the pounding percussion and machine clanging of “Peter Piper” is pure NIN. At only eight cuts, I wish that Chivalry Has Died were longer, but in these days of filler-filled CDs that’s a huge compliment.

http://www.farchildmusic.com