Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy new year...

Just reviewed the latest New Year album at Dusted, their third...very good stuff if you let it sink in a little. They are, you might remember, essentially the two Kadane brothers from Bedhead, plus Chris Brokaw on drums and Mike D'Onofrio on bass.

Here's the review:

The New Year
The New Year
Touch and Go

It’s been four years since The End Is Near, the last New Year album, long enough for all the trendy fly-by-night bands to have turned over (er, Kaiser Chiefs? Bloc Party?), long enough for musical fashions to have shifted significantly (out with the post-punk, in with the afro-beat!). Still, here are the two Kadane brothers, doing what they have always done, what has never, except maybe during the brief flourishing of slo-core, been especially fashionable. Here are radiant textures of interwoven guitars, mordant and weary lyrics slipped down into the mix, languid but difficult rhythms in non-standard time signatures. The New Year is a bit more strident and rock-oriented in parts than its predecessor, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been presaged by Bedhead’s "Felo de Se.” It has a few more piano songs. But really, this is a band and sound that exists on its own terms, its fuzzed guitar and buried vocals surviving intact in a sort of time capsule, unaffected by blog-chatter or the search for the next new thing.

Like all the New Year albums – and most of Bedhead’s material, for that matter – this one is a long-distance collaboration between Bubba Kadane, still in Dallas, and Matt Kadane, now teaching at a college in upstate New York. Each writes material, works it up to a certain stage, then sends it on to the other for further work. The time it takes for two self-described perfectionists to get things right amid the pull of other fairly serious obligations accounts for the space between albums. Yet, it also maybe contributes to the lucid beauty of these songs, the simultaneous sense of effortlessness and complexity. These songs are as elegant as solved equations, their difficulty evident but the answer sublimely simple. (more)

“The Company I Can Get”

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