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splendid > reviews > 4/12/2005
Holy Frog
Holy Frog
Self-Titled
Self-Released


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Pirsig Blues"

Buy me now
In his Lila: An Inquiry into Morals, hipster/philosophyer Robert Pirsig writes that "The world comes to us in an endless stream of puzzle pieces that we would like to think all fit together somehow, but that in fact never do." That's as fitting description as any for this puzzling, complex and very interesting EP. This psych-blues-electronic duo, comprised of Kurt Kitson and Tobias Epstein, lands lightly on traditional styles like porch blues and folk, but filters them through a bizarre and multiplicitous perspective. Listening to "Robert Pirsig Blues", for instance, is like viewing down-home strumming through insect eyes, the outlines recognizable but individual images fractured into a thousand colliding pieces. Similarly, "Candied Daze", with its Dieter-accented weather forecast intro ("And now, vould you like to touch my mohnkee?"), is shimmering space rock filtered through sunny country blues forms. It's slippery -- you never quite get a handle on it -- but gorgeous, and it leads into the more overtly twangy "Going to the Country". "Homo Erectus" may be the most bizarre cut on this brief EP; its good-time guitar strumming turns psycho with a persistent "This is my cock" chorus (at least that's what it sounds like they're saying). "02.01.03" memorializes the space shuttle crash of a couple years ago in a long, trippy journey that's only sabotaged by an overlay of GW Bush's eulogy.

The EP dances tantalizingly out of reach, eluding that "I've got it now" moment of understanding with frustrating skill. The pieces are fascinating, and you'll want to believe that there's a magic key that will make them all align... but perhaps there isn't.



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