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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).

Untitled (Cassette Tape)

The Shmat likes getting tapes. Not only do they provide constant entertainment in the neverending Walkman breakdown battle, but you never know what will turn up. They're like the Vietnamese sandwiches that the Shmat's Peoples like to eat on the weekends, filled with questionable spreads and "mystery" meats galore. The latest tape he got was certainly a mystery. Postmarked from Honolulu, but with an address on the back from Tokyo. Instead of a bio page, a giganto page of lyrics. From what the Shmat can tell, this project is called Bloom. Hey Peoples, the Shmat suggests putting as much info as you can into your packages you send his way otherwise he won't be able to get a hold of you or write about you! Also, unless your lyrics are fantastically interesting or vital to the songs there's no need to send them along...

The songs here are mostly slower Mojave 3 or Mazzy Star influenced slower folk pop. Maybe a bit of Trembling Blue Stars in here as well. Instruments focus mostly on reverb drenched vocals and acoustic guitar, with some sort of metronome keeping beat throughout a few of the tracks . The singer has got some interesting vibrato at times, but it doesn't quite fit with the lo-fi nature of the songs. Hmm.. actually, the Shmat thought he sounded quite a bit like Art Garfunkel on the later tracks.

The Shmat has to say, he was not so impressed with the lyrics; they're a little too prosaic for his tastes. "The light rays are catching / Your Rhythm / With Ice / In your vein" sounds even more strained on tape than when read directly. The best song to the Shmat was the Radiohead-like first track "Tokyo Trial". The third song, perhaps aptly named "Star" sounded a little too much like Big Star. "Our Spring, Our Summer" had uncomfortable long pauses and time changes in it. Overall, this tape is not horrible, but the Shmat definitely wouldn't recommend quitting the day jobs just yet.

- review by SHMAT (9.9.03)        


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