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  • Archives
     

    Tortoise & Bonnie Prince Billy – “Brave and the Bold, the ” – [Overcoat Recordings]

    Gotta ‘fess up, I’m an old Oldham fan. Even when he’s perched
    in front of thousands of Bjork fans naked with nothing save a
    harpsichord, I’m on his side. His voice like a buckshot bird
    plummeting through the sky is always welcome. Add to my docket
    the fact that I dig covers (when they are suitably screwed
    with). So no wonder, I’m predisposed to dig this set of 10
    reworklings. Springsteen is probably seven years too soon for
    the cognoscenti to even consider being covered, but the hell
    with them. “Thunder Road” here is pretty damn fine, only the
    Miami Steve harmonies are reconstituted. There’s a chunky,
    clunky distorto-riff that straps itself to the song’s engines.
    “Love is Love” starts out like a Suicide blitz, indeed a lot
    of the Tortoise work here is bugged & fuzzed with factory
    drums machining away in grime and 4/4 time. That evaporates
    when “Pancho” gallops in on a xylophone with a breathy backup
    vocal from Sally Timms. But Devo’s “That’s Pep” revives that
    thickened bass…and Jeff Parker is bouncing around from
    channel to channel, his key to the successes here. At 1:45
    into “That’s Pep” it comes to a silent stop (the Minutemen
    cover also hits this sort of false death). From then on the
    sweltering sound of the earlier tracks is gone, “I Got Devil”
    is a slow dance with ‘I See a Darkness’, “The Calvary Cross”
    has a nice sun-on-the-hillside intro into a gangly, jangle
    ballad. “On My Own” eulogizes this release, blesses it
    with banjo for the Billy devotees. I really dug the more
    heretical numbers from the first half. “Cravo e Canela” is
    favela funky, and the sloppy seconds on “It’s Expected I’m
    Gone” taste like meaty Minutemen hours. Built with all the
    love of a mixtape. -Thurston Matewan

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 27, 2006 at 2:27 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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