Thursday, June 20, 2013

We've Moved (2008)

We've Moved
(2008, Happy Jack Rock Records)


Just when you thought Psycho and the Birds was a dead side project, Pollard and Todd Tobias (Circus Devils) are back with their 2nd (and, to date last), LP.  As was the case with the previous 2 PATB's releases, We've Moved was constructed from skeletal boom box recordings made on the fly by Pollard.  Todd Tobias then filled in the rest at this studio.  The results, are again, rather frustrating. Muddled production, and clashing ideas. Depending how you look at it, this looks to be the final Psycho and the Birds release with Pollard and Tobias continuing to work on the wholly more satisfying Circus Devils project and proper Pollard solo albums.



Side A:
Who Lives In a ThundercloudSounds like a throw-away track from one of Pollard’s solo outings, but with the vocals buried. Mid-tempo, unremarkable song.

Rain RemainsSoggy, sad-sack song where Pollard sings like a wobbly ghost under unmemorable music. 

I Love a RevolutionFolky, whimsical song billed as the “hit.”  It’s about 1:30 and upbeat, but that’s about it. 

Enon Beach2 Drab, depressingly cold, whack ‘em over the head song. Tobias tries to fix this unmemorable pile of nothing with an annoyingly simplistic guitar riff and stop-start percussion.

Franklin’s Famous Graham Cracker Crust More weird, fairly sleepy nonsense.  Pollard sounds downright drunk in the background while Tobias scrambles to add weird depressing minor-chord drivel over the tapes.

Tomorrow ManEerie, dank, and nightmarish.  Pollard plucks some strings. Tobias adds sound effects and some random noises.

Corona Grande1  Modulated didgeridoo dance music.  Shit. What the fuck? Love this title though. 



Side B:
She Fears Out-  Tepid, mid-tempo new wave song with redneck vocals. CRIPES!

Love TheoryFist pumping, silly song with wavering vocal noises. Just bearable enough. 

Hound Has the AdvantageOne of the most normal, repetitive rock songs on the album, but tarnished with out of place horn-like synths and  out off-key vocal bellows from Pollard.

Poor Old Pine3 Possibly my favorite of the LP. Instrumental reminiscent of Yo La Tengo’s spacier stuff. Wise production choices Mr. Tobias. 

I’m Never Gonna Leave, You’re Never Gonna Win Mid-90s alt-rocker, but unfortunately Pollard sings like his foot’s caught in a bear trap at his favorite saloon, and the song starts sounding like it gets caught in a nu-metal groove by the end. Nu-metal? Yikes!?!

Hybertech GreenHoly hell. A normal, mid-tempo, bright pop song. Can one’s ears believe it?  Best “real” song on the LP.  Lo-lights include baritone Pollard vocals, and cowbell hits on the 1 & 3.

Sharp Apples1 Makes about as much sense as the title.  Rickety, acoustic chugging underneath bashing drums, and slurred lack of intelligent words. Seriously, I don’t any actual words are sung in this tune. 

We’ve Moved-  2 You've moved? Oh joy. Leave the neighborhood, promptly. Acoustic, sad bastard song, with slurred off-key vocals and all that make Psycho and the Birds so damn….. you know. 

5 comments:

  1. listening to side 1 right now. no arguments with your review. not sure why I own all 3 Psycho and the Birds records, and no Circus Devils records. Maybe because there's fewer of them.

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  3. Neil, time for you to commit to Circus Devils. I say this as I slog through "We've Moved" for no good reason.

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  4. I love Enon Beach and We've Moved!

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  5. I think your review was too harsh on this. I relistened to this today and really enjoy its scrappy pop and genuine moodiness. It's a grower big time. It's not trying to be a "big" or grandiose album, it's just a cool, low-ey groover for me.

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