12 September 2010

Ghost To Falco - exotic believers (2010, Cape and Chalice/Infinite Front)

"Exotic Believers" burns, burns the fingers, burns the ears, burns your tongue. It's too hot, too spicy, too acid at times, and the contact with the first track is particularly harsh.

While "Like this forever" was a more typical rock album, "Exotic Believers" returns at times to the intimacy of his debut "torn or broken..." but without reaching the same intimacy levels and attractiveness. Reportedly recorded on a 8 track machine in a giant warehouse with the help of 32 musicians from the Portland scene, "Exotic Believers" is again the pure expression of Eric Crespo, somewhere between Unwound's tension and malaise, the darkness and gloom of Smog's first records, and the intensity of Cat Power's two first album minus the emotional part.

Like with Heather McEntire (Mount Moriah, Bellafea, Un Deux Trois) or Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc)  we are still waiting the final transformation that would transcend his songwriting and would let emerge something more unique, arresting and self-reflexive. I seem to complain but I'm still expecting something more focused closer to his debut. Instead you have this uneasiness, but there are promising steps in the good direction even if he is not crossing the line.

I still think Eric Crespo has got enough in him to follow a similar path than artists like Tara Jane O'Neil, Smog. Let him explore more quietness, peacefulness and warmth and I think you can have it, an album that would reconcile and join at lot of people, when now he is just walking, with talent, yes but in the backyard.

Take a track like "Lords of the High Country", the construction is amazing but I feel uncomfortable with this use of intensity for the sake of intensity, without a climax. Maybe it's due to the informal dimension of a collaborative band, with people entering the room for one track, leaving it for the next one, because of that Ghost To Falco can't reach the substance of stable bands like Victory at Sea, Three Mile Pilot, Channing Cope or Helms.

You need to be in the right mood to listen to Ghost To Falco, the weather should be stormy, the temperament nervous, angry and bitter. Like the last two Picastro albums ("Whore Luck" and "Become Secret"), Ghost To Falco puts me in a state of disenchantment and I don't feel concerned anymore.


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