Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Rebecca Gates and Scott Plouf--or is it the other way around?--literally walk you into Strand, where the palpable, breathy atmosphere and a low, footsteps-in-a-factory rumble-beat greet you at the opening. "Hey baby," Gate... more »
Rebecca Gates and Scott Plouf--or is it the other way around?--literally walk you into Strand, where the palpable, breathy atmosphere and a low, footsteps-in-a-factory rumble-beat greet you at the opening. "Hey baby," Gates whispers, with Plouf echoing her even lower, "Your head's on fire." Welcome to their world. Almost as much has been made of the Spinanes' lack of a bass player (Gates plays guitar and sings, Plouf drums) as has been made of the band's remarkable songs. On record, it doesn't really matter how many people are in the band, the songs veer between layered pop tunes that place the emphasis on a guitar hook and a driving beat, and real downers that concentrate on Gates's whisper-to-a-lover vocals. All the songs are shaded by a true dark side to both the lyrics and the music. "There's nothing so pathetic/ as the way I blow a punchline," Gates reveals on the subdued, almost morose, "Punch Line Loser," rumbling thunder suggesting that there's more to the story than she might be letting on. In "Azure," Gates sings sweetly of "another season of conning dipshits everywhere" in front of a hook that could've been swiped from label-mates Velocity Girl. --Randy Silver
Similarly Requested CDs
An Album for Thunderstorms
goldrobotboy | 07/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I live in Iowa and I drive 40 minutes to work everyday. I drive from one town to another, passing through cornfields, by old farmhouses, and huge fields that illuminate the true size of the sky. When that sky is full of big black clouds on April afternoons, the threat of rain nearby, I put this CD on, and the world gets perfect. The album is thick with atmosphere, from the echoing drums on the first track to Rebecca Gates' desire-filled growl on "Valency". Gates and Plouf put together a fine album, the highlight being the obsessive love song "Lines and Lines" which is perhaps one of the greatest and smartest pop songs ever written. "Watch Down" is a gorgeous ballad about trying to fall asleep next to someone you used to love. Gates said she wanted to make a rock/pop album that had the same atmosphere as old jazz albums, and she definitely succeeds. And if all this nice talk isn't enough to make you buy it, Elliott Smith lends his vocal talents to the first and final tracks. Check this out. It is a must for ANY music fan. There is no album in the world anything like this one."
"Strand" shows the dark side of the Spinanes
DancesWithAnxiety | 10/20/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The music on STRAND is as bleak as the cover art suggests. It is backwards, twisted and utterly unconventional. Eschewing the loud/soft guitar elements found on their brilliant debut, MANOS, the two-piece band shoves more raw passion in eleven tracks than most bands manage in 11 albums. The shimmering guitar intro of "Winter on Ice" transcends into a thumping bass drum and mellotron while lead singer Rebecca Gates croons "It's a short, sharp turn from lifelong to a liar." STRAND focuses on the elements: the thunder take center stage in "Punch Line Loser", a spare tympani fuels "Madding" and indistinct chatter backs "For No One Else". And while the band does experiment, they also go back to their roots. The poppy "Azure" gives way to the rollicking "Lines and Lines" and "Watch Down" ressurects Gates' propensity to explore her acoustic yearnings. Lyrically, STRAND is as complex as MANOS. Gates' enunciation seems to be purposely elusive. Her sultry but slurred words never let you on to her big secret. STRAND is a compelling piece of art that never sacrifices its worth."
DancesWithAnxiety | Portland, OR United States | 07/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"People who like listening to percussion will adore this CD, but that's not the end of its appeal. Scott Plouf's drumming is skillful, clever, at times ingenious, and above all sounds nothing like what you hear elsewhere. It contributes strongly to every song without overbearing. Much the same can be said for Rebecca Gates' lyrics. Like any good poet, she leads us down a path only to introduce the unexpected. The poetry is never sacrificed for meter or melody -- these are expressions of thought and feeling, not pop songs.Perhaps it is an album that was never destined for huge sales, but I like to think its pleasures run deeper. I think it's great."