In House #1689: Lambchop's Damaged; Eric Bachmann's To the Races
Lambchop's ninth album is a dark, streamlined, mood-inducer of a release, expanding on the more subdued moments found on past efforts like Is a Woman and Aw C'Mon/No, You Come On. This is not to say there aren't moments of excess-- opener "Paperback Bible," clocks in at just under eight minutes-- but the mood is elegant and subdued throughout, even when there may be far more going on beneath the surface of the 15-piece collective's music. Kurt Wagner is as fascinating and mysterious as ever, darkly chirping his way through tunes that occasionally border on those of Stuart Staples' Tindersticks. Damaged is a slow grower, to be sure, its dense textures and relative lack of hooks require the kind of attention a lot of people don't want demanded of them by their music. But, oh, the rewards. Damaged is out today on Merge.
Elsewhere on a busy new release Tuesday is the second solo release from Eric Bachmann under his own name. The former Archers of Loaf frontman continues his musical metamorphosis on To the Races, released on Saddle Creek. Bachmann's unique vocal tones are familiar, but the sonic landscapes here are for the most part more sparse than those found on records he's made as Crooked Fingers, including last year's excellent Dignity & Shame. Instead, the aim here is Nebraska-style Springsteen, with a nod to old bluesmen on the tune "Genie, Genie." Like Lambchop's Damaged, it's not exactly happy listening, but it reaches rare and introspective places signaling the coming season.
In House #1689.
Focus: New releases out today from Lambchop, Damaged, and Eric Bachmann, To the Races, plus new music from Primal Scream, M. Ward, Andre Ethier and more.
Lambchop, from Damaged: "Crackers" (MP3)
Eric Bachmann, from To the Races:
"Carborro Woman" (MP3) and "Lonesome Warrior" (MP3)
Tara Jane O'Neil, from In Circles (out 9/12): "Blue Light Room" (MP3)
Andre Ethier, from Secondathallam:
"Honeybee" (MP3) and "In With the Prim" (MP3)
In House PODCAST #161