Summer Fences

Written by: PP on 05/08/2009 06:13:59

Recent years have seen Count Your Lucky Stars records establishing themselves as one of the premier labels out there consistently providing eager music fans with original and exhilarating music. I had the pleasure of making an acquaintance with Annabel a few weeks ago, and now it's Chicago-based Castevet's turn. Although their vocalist sports that familiar gruff roar that bands like Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike are known for, most of their music can safely be lumped into the post rock genre despite the occasional original emo (Fugazi), post-punk, and indie twists found in various places of the album. Well, except for maybe "Plays One On TV" which sounds a lot like the punk influenced post-hardcore of Bear Vs Shark.

Opening track "Between Berwyn And Bryn Mawr" is a candidate for being the best on the record, simply because it has way more vocals than the other tracks. It has a fairly catchy and bouncy beat leading the song forward, plus lots of that fantastic raspy shouting that tells you someone's been listening to Hot Water Music in the past. Maybe that's why I like it so much. It continues straight into the mostly instrumental "Beating High Schoolers At Arcade Games", which features some decent musical arrangements that have me thinking about that "26 Is Dancier Than 4" song by This Town Needs Guns or anything by Damiera thanks to the math-rock inspired guitars. Since the vocals only make an appearance in the beginning of the song, the track feels little more than trying to buy points from the scene considering its title, which also goes for "Evil Robots With Swords For Hands". I don't mind instrumental music - especially when the guitar has been tuned to ring as brightly as here - but it's gotta be either with vocals or entirely without them. It really confuses me as the listener when the song starts with less than a minute of vocals and then goes onto build a commendable math rock soundscape for the next 4½ minutes where the vocals are no longer heard.

Which really leads me into my biggest complaints about "Summer Fences" overall: all too often I fail to grasp what the point of the songs is other than just to forever build soundscapes that don't really climax at any point. To be fair, that's not the case in all songs, and it could be that I just don't get it, but still. That's also why it's one of those grower type of albums, because the more you listen to it, the more you'll like it, but I'm not sure how many people are willing to give the record as many spins as I have.


Download: Between Berwyn And Bryn Mawr, Plays One On TV
For the fans of: American Football, Bear Vs Shark, This Town Needs Guns, Damiera
Listen: Myspace

Release date 09.06.2009
Count Your Lucky Stars

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