With each phrase of the verse alternating between the left and right channel, the whole song is like Cimitile snuck up behind you and whispered into each of your ears in a quick bit of head-bobbing.
"Running Blind" comes out of the gate swinging, just Cimitile vocals and a guitar: "Well all in all I'd have to say things that have turned out swell/Finally I can afford my own private hell/Now I can die happy." The Peter Eberhardt walking bass that enters, and Sara Hallie Richardson's backing vocals, stream in energy mid-song, giving way to an over-dubbed guitar solo that's well played but doesn't necessarily "fit." The finish features a panicked "remember me," repeated.
There's enough here to ensure that shouldn't be a problem. The spaghetti-western vibe of "Fire Dawn Breaking" isn't your standard singer-songwriter fare, even if Cimitile sometimes seems heavily medicated in his delivery. The Dixieland of "Schizophilia" is well done, too, with a cool vocal construction that pairs a bass part going "boom, bom, bom" with high-up "oooh-ooh," like doo-wop paired with old-time vamp-jazz.
Tidal wave or no, it's certainly something worth surfing.
I Am a Tidal Wave | Released by Builder of the House | with This Way + Lisa/Liza | at Empire Dine & Dance, in Portland | May 31 | builderofthehouse.com
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