I don't listen too intensively Idaho records. Because, because, when I start to listen to one of his records, it's difficult to stop. Instead the whole discography of the band is my Itunes library and I enjoy almost everytime one of their songs appears on shuffle mode.
This re-edition of “Alas”, along with “The Forbidden ep” and one track from the “Shanti project volume 1” compilation has been re-released in 2008 on the french label Talitres. Their reunion is very meaningful. Both were released on the same small and short-lived Buzz Records and both had left me not totally satisfied at the time of their release. “The Forbidden ep” seemed to lack of this kind of pivotal track that were the essence of their previous records. “Alas” looked too short, too melodic and with less depth than the first three albums, but the worst thing about it was that I received “Alas” the same day as “Endserenading” the beautiful and swan song release of probably my favorite emo-core/tional band, Mineral. And “Endeserenading” was closer to the rage and grace of early Idaho records than “Alas”.
Ten years later, I still think that “Endserenading” is more powerful and evocative than “Alas” but at least I can dissociate both subjects in my mind. And as a united whole, these fifteen songs by Jeff Martin, have an absolute and, finally, complete coherence. And if the three first albums draw the picture of a certain band, constitute almost a trilogy, here we have something different, with Jeff Martin defining a new paradigm for his project, selecting some elements from his previous personal incarnation in order to concentrate himself on some aspects and forget the whole sonic, noisy and dark inclination that were fundamental before.
Jeff Martin is one this rare songwriters with the capacity to reinvent himself with each new album while keeping his sensitivity intact. On each of his albums, there are essential songs, songs that will make you shiver through the night, that will open you to unknown melancholic depths, that will trouble your eyes and sublime your tears before they can even reach your cheeks.
“The Forbidden ep + Alas” is all about slow melodic and melancholic songs, perfect soundtrack late at night during the summer, when you're sleepy and exhausted but don't want to go to sleep already, but instead heading for the outside in order to breath some fresh air, in the quiet of the night. Essential like every Idaho record.