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Album Review

To Live and Shave In L.A. – “Noon and Eternity ” – [Menlo Park Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   11/10/2006   A Library, CD

Tom Smith and some superb friends churn out a new *studio*
release. Still Tom’s got those electro-huskified vocals that
get stretched like silly putty through your headphones. I
try hard to follow the lyrics without the sheet, and I’m
lost in an elastic maze. And it should be pointed out that
even armed with the lyrics, the maze then takes on a whole
other dimension. Meanwhile the music is built like a tactile
dome: pushing up against your eardrums, guitars sound like
damaged aircraft trying to take flight before the runway
tarmac melts into the earth. Are these the dreams of sirens?
Was this recorded whilst under siege? Barricaded in a studio,
and not enough food for all the musicans? The drummer Andrew
W.K. had to eat one of his own sticks eventually, often he’s
left clubbing out a death march to hold the center while
radioactive bursts of sound ignite space. But Tom’s loony
croon, along with lyrics that invite investigation rather
than hammer down an idea, remain the huge attraction. This
feels like a protest album, without being boringly plain-
spoken. A trophy (as opposed to atrophy) release,
topped only by the inner artwork by Oscar Perez.

-Thurston Hunger

you heard it 16 times on kfjc! most recently:
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Micaele Wustart says

Noon: Great, great, great, great, great, great! When's midnight?

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