REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
splendid > reviews > 2/11/2002
Seaworthy
Seaworthy
The Ride
Jetset


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "I Met Her in the Candy Store"

Buy me now
Josh McKay's Macha played a drone-heavy brand of post-rock that made use of a battery of non-Western instruments and compositional strategies, and eschewed Tortoise-style jazz influences for more marginal progressive musics. McKay has been doing solo work under the Seaworthy name since the last Macha tour, and The Ride provides a significantly less challenging take on instrumentation than Macha did, though the overall feel of the music is every bit as hypnotic in its execution. The opener, "Open the Gates", provides a good example of the type of simple instrumentations that McKay, through expert production and compelling melody, transforms into rather magical soundscapes; his breathy vocals slip over hyper-reverbed guitar bends, trebly piano plinks and insistent drums. For the rest of the album, McKay shares vocal duties with Japanese chanteuse Haco (on the near-trip-hop of "The Day") and invites Osaka experimental rockers After Dinner and Hoahio (who are on John Zorn's Tzadik label) to help out as well -- a sign that McKay is a well-respected force in the avant-garde. All the same, while it offers as many nods to classical composers like Steve Reich as it does to space-rockers like Flying Saucer Attack or Windy and Carl, The Ride seems decidedly poppy; apart from a number of spacy atmospheric pauses between tracks, many of these songs are decidedly single-ready -- even catchy. Certainly "Identifying the Body," with its infectious bass line groove, funky drumming and airy vocals, has a feel straight out of Bristol 1994.

McKay does best when pushing the limits of the pop song structure, as on the two-part title track that ends the record. Hypnotic to the point of being scary, the track and its title conjure everything from the motion of waves (sampled wave-crashes open the song) to the propulsive drum technique to the seminal shoegazer band of the same name. Slightly vocoded vocals soar above a rolling piano drone -- and for the second part of the song, over nothing but the sound of waves and some spare, thick drum beats, building to a triumphant finish. The album is gorgeous and richly textured, but it seems as if McKay can't decide whether he wants to focus on groovy, downtempo space-pop or more experimental, melodramatic soundscapes.



REVIEWS:

12/31/2005:
Ladytron

Brian Cherney

Tomas Korber

UHF

The Rude Staircase

Dian Diaz

12/30/2005:
Helloween

PTI

The Crimes of Ambition

Karl Blau

Rosetta

Gary Noland

12/29/2005:
Tommy and The Terrors

Blacklisted

Bound Stems

Gary Noland

Carlo Actis Dato and Baldo Martinez

Quatuor Bozzoni

12/28/2005:
The Positions

Comet Gain

Breadfoot featuring Anna Phoebe

Secret Mommy

The Advantage

For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records

12/27/2005:
The Slow Poisoner

Alan Sondheim & Ritual All 770

Davenport

Beaumont

Five Corners Jazz Quintet

Cameron McGill

Drunk With Joy

12/26/2005:
10 Ft. Ganja Plant

The Hospitals

Ross Beach

Big Star

The Goslings

Lair of the Minotaur

Koji Asano



Splendid looks great in Firefox. See for yourself.
Get Firefox!


FEATURES:
Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste probably didn't even know that he'd be the subject of Jennifer Kelly's final Splendid interview... but he is!



DEPARTMENTS:
That Damn List Thing
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo
Bookshelf
Pointless Questions
File Under
Pointless Questions
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo


ARCHIVE:
Read reviews from the last 30, 60, 90 or 120 days, or search our review archive.

It's back! Splendid's daily e-mail update will keep you up to date on our latest reviews and articles. Subscribe now!
Your e-mail address:    
REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
All content ©1996 - 2011 Splendid WebMedia. Content may not be reproduced without the publisher's permission.