COME INTO MY HOUSE
TOM108 | released: 19/02/2008 | CD
via Anost (Europe) via SCD (USA)
Avant-garde David Byrne favourites tell of Ivy League recluses by way of Deerhoof inspired R n B
br> Avant-garde David Byrne favourites tell of Ivy League recluses by way of Deerhoof inspired R n B. Confused? - You will be.
A nice surprise is the debut album from the unexpected newcomers No Kids. The Queen Latifah inspired name does not do justice to the Vancouver trio Julia Chirka, Justin Kellam and Nick Krgovich formerly of the band P:ANO who bring us this piece of work with the help of a number of contributing musicians. Like other Canadian bands such as Arcade Fire, The Dears, and the lesser known Pony Up they exude eccentricity yet it would be safe to say that no-one gets near No Kids, who from the evidence of this album redefine the word eclectic
They say their sound is a melting pot of Golden era Hollywood musicals; Jam & Lewis inspired production techniques and the breadth of Arthur Russell’s disco. They also mix cleverly warped harmonies with the summery pop of Nada Surf and somewhat operatic vocals a little reminiscent of Mika (but don’t let that put you off.)
‘Great Escape’ is a quite heart melting orchestral starter with delicious harmonies accompanied by little drummer boys beats. Next upbeat a Cappella dominates a song about strolling down streets looking at houses decked out ‘For Halloween.’ Then they mix disjointed Deerhoof-like song structure with the foot tapping summer pop of Little Ones.
‘The Beaches are Closed,’ boasts a kabuki intro that soon segues into R n B, which continues on ‘Bluster in the Air.’ On ‘I Love The Weekend,’ they declare ‘my life’s work means nothing to no-one,’ while playing a variety of panpipes. ‘Four Freshmen Locked out As The Sun Goes Down,’ is pure barbershop quartet while ‘Old Iron Gate,’ sounds like they took their inspiration from banging on it. The avant-garde percussion gives way to a cinematic sound, which defies description. The closing tracks return to more charming novelistic narratives about Ivy League recluses languishing in empty beach houses. You get the feeling they got drunk on the same porches as The Shins.
If you think of Ben Folds Five, and Air with a little of The Postal Service mixed in you are still nowhere near it. It perhaps relies too much mid album on the vocal gymnastics of R n B for my taste; a genre that would benefit immensely from more lyrics about making scrapbooks with pockets full of saltwater taffy I feel. This genuinely original band produce a sound that is all over the place. Rather than a collection of songs this is an experimental soundtrack that deserves repeated listening to unpeel all the layers.
By: Mandy Williams
Ben Folds Five