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Sunset Rubdown - Snake's got a leg
Label: Global Symphonic
Release: 2005

Tracklisting:
The Dust you kick up is too fine
Snake's Got a Leg
I'll believe in anything, you'll believe in anything
hey you handsome culture
Hope you dont stoop to dirty words
Hope you dont stoop to dirty words II
Cecil's Bells
I know the weight of your throat
Sol's song
Stadiums and Shrines
Snakes got a leg II
Portrait of a shiny metal boy
Snake

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Average Blamo User Rating: (4 votes)

This is an album of ghostly late night anthems, distant songs that come in like echoes creeping thru haunted hallways into children’s bedrooms. This is tragic pop experimentalism in the vein of less morbid Xiu Xiu, or a one man version of Radiohead’s Amnesiac. It is a work of great ambition and off-kilter creativity on an intimate stage. The louder, faster tracks on this album bring out an unnamed urgency and frenzied ache not to different from Wolf Parade (‘I’ll believe in anything, you’ll believe in anything’ is actually a Wolf Parade number as well) and the quieter songs hold a chilling beauty and sadness that stay with the listener long after they are over (‘stadiums and shrines’ leaves me heartbroken).

Certainly Spencer has taken a fair bit of fine reference from many an eccentric outfit; the un-metered shrieks on some of the faster tracks can sound reminiscent of Frog Eyes frontman Carey Mercer, while the instrumental pieces can seem reminiscent of boards of Canada and the beautiful slow fuzzy pieces can seem like an old blues 45 from ages ago being channeled thru a fuzzy Jamie Stewart, or the frantic four tracks demos of a “low” era Bowie.

The distorted fuzziness of the guitars and pianos along with the well placed electronic beeps and blips and disembodied handclaps bring something wholly unsettling and fresh to something wholly warm and familiar. The vocals of Spencer Krug can range from great mournful howls to sad and sentimental rumination and they paint bleak and surreal pictures of a sort of suburban existentialism, but still remain too opaque and ghostly to really peg any meaning or narrative beyond the palpable emotions within them. It is a work of a powerful and disturbing beauty and an unmistakably unique one at that, but at the same time, it is a dense album that certainly isn’t very accessible and might take even the most open minded of listeners a couple goes to warm to its shy and quirky charms.

It’s a challenge of a listen, but rewardingly so, so if you’re one of the several people (besides myself) in the market for heartfelt, beautiful, sometimes catchy, original, experimental music, buy this album!... and tell em Hyden sent you… and when they go “who?”, act like you just dropped the hippest name in history, and than you can walk off with a boner for your own obscurity.

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