Monday, September 19, 2011

Music Review - Ichabod

Ichabod is the latest dark pop/folk-ish artist to escape the hallowed halls and pubs of the UK. With a dark sensibility and a straight-forward delivery, Ichabod's latest 7 song release, All My Beloved shows some branching out compared to earlier releases while staying at home with themes that are easy to relate to and a sound that harkens back a bit to late-80's/early-90's alt rock.

On previous releases, Ichabod was a one man show with occasional help on percussion. This album finds him joined by The Inglorious, a capable backing band which gives the music a fuller, less controlled sound. This becomes apparent on the second track, "Godzilla Love", a campy, call-response love song that where the instrumentation is free and flowing. The one negative I can find on these recording, though, is, whether due to haste or desire, occasionally the mix is a bit off. The snare sound for the drums is tinny and obnoxious. Additionally, some lead guitar parts are so far up in the mix as to make it difficult to hear the rest of the band.

It's sad that the songs aren't better produced, because they are truly brilliant. Lyrically, each song is a dark poem depicting addiction, love gone wrong, and a generally rough life as lived by someone with experience in the less than light side of life. Ichabod's voice pulls it all together in a way that makes the poor production, almost disappear. Almost.

To be honest, though, the darkness is of a type where brief glimpses of hope shine through. On songs like the title track and "Edmund the Martyr", we understand that the bottom has been reached, and at the bottom, clarity has finally been reached. This is not an album that leaves you feeling all is lost, more that mistakes have been made, but even through the worst mistakes, we can learn and move on.

Where to find this album:

RIYL: Jeff Buckley, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Built to Spill


Anonymous said...

Hey man,
just wanted to say thankyou for the review.
Your kind words mean a lot and I really hope you enjoyed the record.
I totally agree about the lower production value by the way,
It's due to lack of funds more than anything, hopefully the songs make up for it.
I'm heading back in the studio soon so do please "watch this space" as they say.

Yours gratefully

PJ Hagerty said...

Hey Ichabod,

No problem! Thanks for dropping by to read the review. The music truly does shine through the production value.

I will keep an eye out, and feel free to drop me a line whenever you're ready to drop the next release.

Thanks again!