Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Music Review - why+the+wires

The first thing I can say about why+the+wires is wow, what an amazing live show. The Ithaca, NY math rockers have lost a few people since recording Telegraph Flats but that by no means diminishes their ability to kick you in the face with pure musical energy.

Their second release with Habit Forming Records, this album best exemplifies the ability to take something raw yet subtle and put it to use. With killer percussion provided by Chris Romeis, pulsating bass by (now former) bassist Tito Butler, and a nuanced guitar rhthym and gravely Tom Waits crooning from Dave Nutt, a listener could be easily satisfied. But why stop there? why+the+wires goes a step further with a violinist, Haley Dossinger, to pull out the softer tonalities that might sometimes get lost in the more abrupt or raucous pieces, and Keevin Dossinger to tear up everything in sight on accordian, sax, random percussion (often at the same time).

Telegraph Flats is a romp through the Northeast with tinges of that "Northwest" sound. Opening with the title track, you are immediately pulled into a van with people you can trust and love and feel good about. But as with any cross-country road trip, there is oscillation. "Smokehoods" shows the bitterness that sometimes builds up in this trips while "Another Fucking Waltz" kind of gives the feel that there is some sort of redemption in every ride. The entire album leaves a feeling of having done something...even though all that something was is actively listening.

The only negative I can find on this album is that it doesn't quite capture their unbelievably energetic live performance. I look forward to seeing if they can get a little of that in the future, or maybe a few live videos or recording to capture that essence.

Where to find them (on CD or White Vinyl):

RIYL: At the Drive-In, This Town Needs Guns, Drive Like Jehu

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