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Askew Review 15

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- Fall of the House of Even (For Documentation Only Recordings) Two very different feelings oozed from my innards concerning this CD even before it reached my super duper post office box. One, I love this band and the chances of me not liking this release were minimal. Two, when I first read about the concept of the CD, I was a bit horrified and recalled a similar CD concept put forth by David Lee Roth, which from what I heard was a disaster. “What the hell are these guys thinking?” I asked myself in a fit of despair. You see, EIB (Even in Blackouts, for the acronym challenged) loaded this CD as if it were a crumbling house and each room’s atmosphere aired its own sound; punk, R&B, bluegrass, and even some jazz. Well, how dare I question anything these musical geniuses perform! The unique sound that is EIB is prevalent (too compelling to even try and compare to anyone alive or dead), but the various genres of musical spirits ride that sound offering a twist from past releases. Underlying it all is a ghostly tone that I can’t quite figure out or grasp, but it’s there. To me, the fuel behind Even in Blackouts has always been the divine lead vocals of Liz Eldredge, who hits notes unlike she ever has, and the amazing guitar work by John Pierson and whoever strums beside him; on this release it’s the Mighty Gub Conway. However, Fall of the House of Even brought forth the venerated bass and drum playing courtesy Phillip Hill, whose upright base in the jazzy/bluesy “A Little Trip to Heaven” is magnificent, and drummer Bice. Although I only have a few favorite drummers, Bice has landed himself a spot next to Louis Bellson, Todd Barnes, Chuck Biscuits, and Dan Lumley. While the musical tempo of each cut varies, they all nicely bleed together as if reading a finely written novel, or of course, a story written by me. Tell me, is it coincidence that the lullaby like “Take All My Cares Away” ends with such lyrics and the following poppy punkish “The Fool” starts with ‘I’m not drunk, I just fell down, I’m just in a rut…”? I think not. Along with the instruments, all the guys lend great lead and backing vocals that beautifully compliment the angelic Eldredge. Pierson must have some love for “I Can See Clearly Now” as his former band, Screeching Weasel, also covered the hit many moons ago. “Foundation,” a catchy instrumental, is riddled with prerecorded spoken word, poetry, and yells of those who helped out cashwise with the CD. In a brilliant move, the CD concludes with studio outtakes capturing the band in all their rawness. My sole bitch concerns the liner notes as they’re too hard to read! I get the whole artistic thing, but creepers crow give my balls of eye matter a break already. You know, people always say that Jim Morrison (The Doors, errrrr) was not a musician, but a poet. Even in Blackouts are musicians, as well as poets and I would not be going out on a limb to call Fall of the House of Even the best CD of 2006. – Denis Sheehan



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