Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, March 31

Gapers Block

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Fadetoblacks, Jump Cut (Disreputable, 2003)
On their new album, "Jump Cut," the Fadetoblacks have hit their stride. The promise of their 1998 eponymous debut is fulfilled on killer tracks like "At theMovies," on which singer Jake Director's golden throat throbs with tenderness over bassist Dolly Grip's pulverizing groove. On "Notes Call" the band develops intricate sonic maneuvers, almost as if they're rewriting the song as they play it. "Hollywood Ending on Vine," on the other hand, is a straight-forward homage to the mid-'80s Slash Record sound, built on the solid drumming of Cassidy Couch. Director's voice only comes through in fits and spurts, however, thanks to an obvious amount of meddling from producer Frank LeBouring. Expect great things in the future, provided they keep a hands-off approach in the studio.

Robin Goodfellow, The Play (A-Vonne, 2003)
"The Play" by Robin Goodfellow is of very little substance, but it pulled me in anyway. Tania Rene's voice has a nice depth to it, but paired with Don K.'s bumbling guitar it seems almost too regal. The clear ringleader here is drummer Ian Puck -- interestingly, he and rhythm guitarist Ron Obe share writing credits. This is classic mid-summer music, though: The Play is the thing for that night of dalliance with the king or queen of your heart.

Clevah, Rocks, Things That Aren't Rocks, and Things That Rock (Greenishred, 2003) 1/2
Those indie pranksters Clevah think they're so special. They've made an entire album of half-assed cliches and inside jokes and pass it off as a master opus. Word has it their new label, Houston's Greenishred, fronted the band $50k for "Rocks, Things That Aren't Rocks, and Things That Rock," and it shows in the production values. Not since Urge Overkill's poorly conceived "Exit the Dragon" has so much boardwork been devoted to ironic wanking.

The album leads off with "Aura Fish," an 18-minute jam on which literally every member of the band solos at the same time, creating a monstrous mess of guitar noodling and gong smashing. "Underwater Theme to Ed Peavey" finds singer Christian Idle -- nephew of Python performer Eric -- wailing away about having no head. According to the liner notes, each musician is playing his instrument's part from five separate songs on their last album, "Snark Snafu," to create the actually quite good "What Are You Doing with White Shag Carpet?" -- the result is the most solid tune on "Rocks."

Ultimately, this collection is a die-hard fan pleaser, for completists only. If you're only a fan of Clevah's college radio hits, such as "(George) Carlin Surprise," this ain't the one for you.


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