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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).

So L'il
Dear Kathy (CD)

I think I earlier said that the band So L'il reminded me of Sissybar with their quirky songs backed by semi-electronic beats. But I think that might have been a little premature to give them the Joy Ray and Friends tag. I still hear the barest echoes of Sissybar in So L'il's songs, but here's to more careful listening in the future...

They've got a new album out called Dear Kathy and my respect for the band just grew quite a bit with the release of this album. Their engaging brand of future-pop is actually really growing on me. What I don't remember (perhaps because I was drunk and passed out while listening to Revolution Thumpin') is this very interesting "call and response" type of interplay between the quieter male vocals and space-echoed female singing. I've got a new comparison to make for songs like "Caribbean Dreams" and that is to one of my all time favorite bands Elk City. That song trips gorgeously through a fantastic groove with those perfect boy-girl vocals. That really made the song.

"Birds" sounds a bit Elf Powery with weird instruments everywhere, while "Dear" sounds suspiciously like Jay Chilcote (Slomo Rabbit Kick). Many of their songs have this near creepy vibe... I think I might have mentioned that I sort of think of this underground tribe of future holocaust survivors living in the sewers of New York and making this music. Haha, take it! Grab that press quip while it's still hot.

"Inside" is keyboard spacey and has a melody that AGAIN reminds me of Imperial Teen (their song Butch). Weird. The song "Useless" has a strange almost tribal beat over Swirlies mumblings and rumblings. And finally, "The Outwordly Ugly Secretly Beautiful" trips us out with 16 minutes of Kim Gordon type spoken vocals over seemingly random echoed guitar.

Taken separately these songs would confuse and confound, but smash them up in a blender and call it So L'il and it's a fine tasting brew indeedy.

- review by SHORTY (8.9.05)        

Goodbye Better

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