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Festschrift – “1986” – [Self Released]

dylantante   10/18/2015   A Library, CD

Festschrift; noun. An academic term, borrowed from German, meaning “a book honoring a respected person and presented during her lifetime.”

Hazy, lazy, and shoegaze-y, this lo-fi bedroom album of space psych rock comes to us from a one-man operation out of Montpelier, VT. Festschrift seems well-read in terms of established outfits like Sonic Youth and Deep Purple, and wears those on his sleeve in his compositions. The solo nature of the project sometimes leads him down the path of self-indulgent guitar noodling, and an overall lack of dynamic range. Many of the tracks leave as quickly (and abruptly) as they arrive – this is sometimes welcome, sometime not.

Track 4 was a definite stand-out, with an interesting and competently delivered beat, and a nice, dissonant-to-my-ears harmony between the guitar and muffled vocals.

If you are choosing between the two long tracks, my money goes on track 7 rather than track 3, but both felt a bit interminable.

So, nothing revolutionary on here, and it is grating at times, but a few moments really click. Overall a decent album with a few clunkers that is nice to hear in moderation.

— Dylan Tante

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