Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reviews:: Oldfolks Home We Are The Feeding Line


Well, through the magic of the Internet, I have another terrific record from the good people of Manitoba. After my quick post on Boats, I was sent the CD from Oldfolks Home and the tie ins started coming to light. First, Ricardo Lopez – the brains behind the project – is also a member of Boats.

Not enough? Well, how about the fact one of the tracks on the record features a terrific duet with Halifax’s own (and herohill championed), Rebekah Higgs. Still not sold? How about the fact Ricardo is actually re-releasing We Are The Feeding Line and cobbling together a cross-country tour that includes a Halifax stop – and one would assume a cameo by Higgs – on November 15th @ Gus’ Pub. Serendipitous you might say.

We Are The Feeding Line is a schizophrenic look at what happens when technology and tenderness meet in the middle and wrestle for top spot. Ricardo’s computer driven emotions are constantly pushed around by his fondness for noise-filled freak outs and meandering guitar lines. If you only heard the first few seconds of the opening number – Letter to Kerri – and sunk into the shakers, floating guitar line and digital effects, you’d probably assume Ricardo was another bedroom pop/IDM artist and start to embrace the sounds. Instead, he spikes the mix with white noise, distorted notes, chimes and electric bursts, as if he’s wrestling with himself and his emotions at each and every turn.

This continues as he changes gears instantly into the frantic pace of In No Way. The heavy strums and electric work well with the more traditional vocal style Ricardo uses on the track (complete with soaring backing vocals). You’d think the huge change of style might only work for Son of Bazerk, but the structure of the song helps the transition flow.

But it’s the crazy assimilation of styles of Out The Seams Pt. 2 that shows Ricardo's creativity peak. By combing a voice-box, waves of fuzz and computer blips and bleeps, Lopez crafts a song that moves in countless directions at countless speeds; the waves of the electric guitar and altered vocals slowly wash over you while the electric guitar shreds across the sound scape and the backbeat dances around like heated molecules, pushing the boundary of the track farther and farther away.

Lopez seems to have infinite inspirations and influences; Whole Wheat Flour sounds like a track that could be penned by Ray Fountenberry (Incredible Moses Leroy, Soft Lightes) and shouldn’t come from a guy who so easily can dive into the raw energy that we all associate with Radiohead (The Power Of The Sun) or the heavier noise of Let's Go Out To Vegas, but he is able to handle all of the textures and fluctuations nicely.

I’d hesitate to pick a favorite – especially with the shocking amount of diversity on this record – but if pressed I’d give the nod to the oddly titled duet with Higgs, I Hate Dell. The track uses terrific beats and great harmonies to turn an electro song into a soft, almost heartbreaking song and the five minutes fly by instantly.

All too often, bloggers complain about albums that are only as good as the single or lack diversity. Oldfolks Home accepts the challenge with well crafted electro hooks that seem incapable of sitting still. He does more in 8 songs than most bands do in a career, but never seems to stretch himself too far. Whether he tugs at your heart strings or makes you want to shake your ass, Ricardo seems ready to give you what you need.

Posted at 8:12 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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