Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The End Times on BSH Recordings
I think when it's done right, there will always be a time when the acoustic guitar and a vocal will still be able to be as emotionally powerful as it must have always been. It's an inherently classic sound that I bet will still have a place in whatever fragmented genre's are happening fifty years from now. The End Times are working in that hushed folk sound with patches of darker elements.
A-Side's "A Plea For Recklessness" opens with a nice tangy electric/acoustic guitar and clear right up front vocals from Jennifer Green. This is so clear and her concise trained vocal is in the isolated booth to commit this to tape, candles burning. Singing a lot about kicking some ass and being loud delivered in the opposite quiet assured way she has from the darker corners of a midwest summer porch. The vocal gets doubled and this instrumentation is taking it's time to finally pick up while Jennifer layers in a bunch of harmony. It's all understated, a slow Giant Sand or Calexico sound. There are hints at an older country here, brushes on the snare, knowing they can get loud and explosive but when they strip it all back to just a slight acoustic and this vocal that's the sort of thing that proves what you've really got. If you can go to that personal place AND the immense produced highs then you're onto something.
B-Side's "The Drowning Waltz" drops more of that lonesome acoustic with a piano backing this time. Shakers and slow ride bass is the foundation this time with Jennifer returning with her sweet sounding vocal about really bad things, a massive disconnect being the key here. The slow contemplative instrumentation that supports the giving in feel of not fighting anymore, but making it sound as good as possible because they're sadists? They're the ones that get off on other people's pain right? Cause that's what they do when you start paying attention to the lyric. Slow as possible teetering percussion reminding me of the Spinannes. They keep sweetening this pot with higher sounding tight acoustics or mandolins, soprano sounds that spin this higher and higher but she's made it pretty clear things are damn hopeless.
Nicely screened chipstock sleeves and a great upside down crosses logo. You know they take every possible opportunity to say at every show "These are the End Times!" introducing the apocolypse.
Get it from the band direct.