The Delicate Seam
First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2004, Volume 11, #11
Written by T.J. Simon
On the Bloodthirsty Loversí second full-length release The Delicate Seam, the Memphis band mixes experimental progressive rock with pop to achieve spotty results. Lead singer Dave Shouse (formerly of the Grifters and Those Bastard Souls) owes much of his vocal style to early David Bowie, which turns out to be a blessing and a curse depending entirely upon his musical accompaniment. For instance, his singing works well on the opening track The Mods Go Mad, which showcases a bed of cool drum loops lying beneath crunchy guitars. Unfortunately, it is followed by Stiltwalkers Local #119, an irritating, slow-tempo mess sung with an unfriendly warble.
While The Delicate Seam is largely an uneven effort, there are a few noteworthy highlights including A Postcard from the Sea. The song is a melodic dose of space-y modern rock, full of vivid, lyrical imagery that serves as the template for future releases by Bloodthirsty Lovers. This is contrasted with Happiness where poorly crafted lyrics ó "Happiness is a mind-blowing experience for those who know itÖ" ó mar an otherwise compelling melody. The eight-song album shifts between the tiresome, ambling prog-rock experimentation of Now You Know to the gleeful, sing-along pop of El Shocko. On Medicated, the discís closer, the lead vocals are turned over to Katie Eastburn of the Los Angeles band Young People. Itís a slow-tempo tune with distinctive percussion that, at the five-minute mark, finally kicks into a cool duet reminiscent of The New Pornographers. Overall, however, The Delicate Seam is a frustrating collection because itís clear that this is a talented band perfectly capable of making a great record. Sadly, there are just too many glaring missteps on the disc to warrant a heartier recommendation. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box