the pathetic caverns - music by artist - Heatmiser
eclectic reviews and opinions
Mic City Sons
I'm not sure what it really is about this record that gets to me, but something sure does. Part of it: primary songwriter Elliot Smith specializes in tales of alcohol-fueled brooding melancholy, delivered in a husky voice that feels half-whispered, but the band gives things enough of a primal rock'n'roll kick that it often comes off morose and energetic at the same time. The lyric fragments that jump out at me -- these guys are not exactly specialists in ultra-clear enunciation -- generally intrigue, like "I remember, I remember, why I dream in black and white," from "Plainclothes Man." And there's a couple melodies that are sing-along in the shower candidates. But there's a whole-greater-than-the-sum-of-the-parts sorta thing going on that has won this disc an unusually big share of time in my cd player.
I saw 'em live in San Francisco back in late Novemember '96; the songs sounded alright, but the band suffered from an underwhelming stage presence. (Actually, it was one of the worst shows I ever saw from a band I really liked. They looked like they'd rather be anywhere than on stage playing -- and given that they broke up shortly thereafter, that was probably the case. And the show was so bad that I avoided Smith live thereafter. Now I'm sorry.)
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