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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Self Titled (CD)

Further investigations into the now popular mish-mash of folk and arcade pop are embarked upon by this CD by the lovely little band called Folk? Interesting that many bands end with question marks nowadays, like "Pants Yell?"

On Machine Dash, Folk? plays engaging and sometimes mysterious instruments mixed with lazy Sunday vocals in the style of Matt Suggs (ex-Butterglory). The eclectic instrumentation is where the band, made up of William Ryan Fletcher and Mike Detmer, really shines. Songs like "Nintendo Pop" twinkle like the Magnetic Fields while the melodies carry like Folk Implosion songs. I liked the slower "Float Away" which is a bit of a country-folk song with languid vocals. But "Somebody Else" was a bit too weird with low groaning vocals that didn't really seem to fit the lo-fi pop of the rest of the tracks. It just felt a little too serious. The single "Machine Dash" doesn't disappoint, however... 80s style octaving bass lines groove along with analog synth stabs and a funny over-the-top and wiggly vocal. Some serious grins are to be had with this song...

"Love At Point Blank" is a pretty catchy tune, almost like a Teenage Fanclub track. Many of the songs have canned drums, but for some reason they don't seem out of place. "Don't Belong" contains some really fun electronic bleeps and synth tweaks. "Brain 7" is weird; nearly jazzy bass lines lead into Mario-land synth antics. "Walk With Me" is a tender little track relying on a wispy drum machine and plaintive vocals. All in all, a really nice effort by them.

- review by SHORTY (6.6.05)        

Vibrating Needle Recording Collective

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