If you find Beachwood Sparks too weird......
David O'Brien | Dublin 18 Ireland | 12/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What an incredible gem of an album this is.I can say the same for their debut album 'Once' as well.What The Tyde have done is take influences such as Lou Reed, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions and alt-country influences like Wilco and merged them into a coherent whole.
I believe that this band consists of Rick Mench (ex-Velvet Crush) on drums and three members of Beachwood Sparks including two Radomaker brothers.
It becomes very clear from the start that this band can write tunes.Not just songs that sound the same but songs that stand out on their own as individual pieces of work.
The album starts brightly with the Dylan-esque 'The Loner'.There is lovely keyboard and acoustic guitar sound throughtout and overall it's very pleasant.
Next up is the gem of the piece 'Henry VIII'.It's like an outtake off Lloyd Cole & The Commotions' 'Rattlesnakes'.The guitar work here is SUPERB as is the songwriting.I love the way it's a song about drugs but it doesn't sound one bit depressing ! It takes a skilful songwriter to get this right.
'Go Ask Yer Dad' is next and it contains some lovely buzzsaw guitar work.The vocals are very Lou Reed/Lloyd Cole sounding again and the song is up to the standard of the previous two.
'Best Intentions' is a very slow, quiet song but it has a big heart.Darren Radomaker sounds more like Reed on this song than any other but it really doesn't sound like a parody.It's actually fantastic and the vocal sounds really emotional.
'Crystal Canyons' is another gem.Very upbeat in tempo but downbeat lyrically.Excellent keyboard and guitars here as well.This one reminds me of Aussie band 'The Church'.
"Takes A Lot Of Tryin'" is Dylan-esque as well.'Memorable Moments' is another gem - like a mix of Dylan and Lou Reed.
Of the rest of the album, my own favourite would be 'Shortboard City' - the poppiest song on the album after 'Henry VIII'.It's very like the Beach Boys or even Supergrass in style.
Overall, this is an exceptional album.The songwriting is superb as is the musicianship.
There is something very sad at the heart of this album but like all classics, it doesn't get too bogged down in it's melancholy.
I can't speak too highly of this album....