Like these songs, which are layered on top of driving beats, but are often ultimately introspective and languid in their guitar and vocal delivery.

"Everybody, Hey" is particularly pretty, with Erin McKeown (echoing Spouse's "Underwater") on accompanying vocals and a gritty guitar that sometimes seems to break the limits of the recording medium. There's a repeating beeping sound like an alarm, which somehow remains musical, and a late guitar solo that's penetrating, contrasted with a delicate piano bit repeating in the back, gradually moving toward the front of the mix near the song's finish.

It's a song of frustration and not-quite-rebellion. "You tell me when to talk and then you shut me up" Ayerve and McKeown sing in tandem, so that the accusations face each other. "You show me how to move and then you say, 'don't move.'"

Like the sexting, like these skittish digital beats, there is intent and there is commitment. Where does A Severe Joy stand? Well, the last song here is "Never Will I Make My Move," languid and narcotic, beats building in all kinds of urgency that's never equaled by the vocals.

"I Need You Close"? Now we hear, "let's not get too close." Maybe there will be a rethinking of that whole sexting thing, as well. But A Severe Joy seems like something Ayerve can commit to.

Sam Pfeifle can be reached at sam_pfeifle@yahoo.com.

A SEVERE JOY | Released by A Severe Joy | at Slainte, in Portland | Dec 10 |  aseverejoy.com

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Slainte, Slainte,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY SAM PFEIFLE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEVEN-MAN ARMY  |  July 24, 2014
    Lately, it’s been open season on “Wagon Wheel,” which has become the acoustic musician’s “Freebird,” one of the very few songs that people actually know well enough to find it funny to request.
  •   AMOS LIBBY'S FIVE WEEKS IN THE HEART OF THE CONFLICT  |  July 23, 2014
    "(Israeli) immigration asked me at the airport why I didn’t leave when I could have and I said it was because I felt safe. They told me I was nuts.”
  •   WHAT YOU SAY, RYAN?  |  July 16, 2014
    Ryan’s calling card is his sincerity. While the production and presentation are of a genre, you won’t find him talking about puffing the chron or dissing women or dropping a million f-bombs or using a bunch of contemporary rap jargon. He’s got a plan and he executes it, with more variety and modes of attack than he’s had on display to this point.
  •   BETTY CODY, 1921-2014  |  July 11, 2014
    The Maine music community lost a hidden giant last week with the death of Betty Cody, at 92.
  •   ADVENTURES IN LO-FI  |  July 11, 2014
    One obvious reason for heavy music is catharsis, a healthy release for all the built-up bullshit modern life entails. Like kickboxing class for suburban women, but with lots of black clothing and long hair.

 See all articles by: SAM PFEIFLE