Friday, April 13, 2012

Saucerbottom, "Whirr & Hide"


Saucerbottom's second long player for Uneek, Whirr & Hide, has moments of quiet genius and longer passages of not-so-quiet brilliance. This follow-up to his debut, Catastroph, capitalizes on the ground broken there and on the interim EP, Palpations. Saucerbottom's use of synth and sampled cowbell contrasted against monotone vocals ("Wrestle Wraith") is unexpected, but even when he's treading familiar rock 'n' roll ground, as in "High," he adds a one-two punch of drum vs. guitar vs. high hat. Make that a one-two-three punch.

"Whistler's Pass" is magnificent with washes of symphonic keyboards and the tinkling of what sounds like wind chimes. Saucerbottom's voice has never sounded better and the lyrics sync into his gentle baritone (We went up to Whistler's Pass/Smoking grass and grabbing ass/Shouting love up to the sky/The wordless sins of passion cry). "Home on the Range 2.0" is exactly what you'd guess: the children's ode in a new setting, though the deer and antelope never played in my classrooms at such velocity.

Whirr & Hide is a worthy addition to any music lover's collection, but fans of Saucerbottom will conclude their first listen to this record with a cigarette and towel. It's that sexy.

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