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- A Cradle In The Bowery by Matt Christensen
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Having travelled in excess of 25 miles in order to write this review (amongst other things) this solo offering from the man from Zelienople better be good and by jiminy its one of those by the first few chords you know you are going to like. Simple understated strums of acoustic guitar, echoey percussion and strung out vocals the opening track recalls an understated take on the blissed out late '60s influenced haze-pop of the likes of Spacemen 3 and Brian Jonestown Massacre. There's also hints of Low, Idha, Galaxie 500 and the glistening, glacial Americana of some shades of '80s REM. It really is a wonderfully evocative piece. Elsewhere we get back porch folky strumming, fugue like organs, vocals delivered always in Christensen's slightly quivery, disturbed tongue. I'm reminded a bit of Richard Young's pastoral driftings and also of the post-Charalambides solo offerings of Tom and Christine Carter in that it has a home recorded slightly psychedelic edge, with acoustic guitars intermeshing and vocals drenched in what seems to be natural reverb. The production reminds me of the very first unsurpassable Songs of Green Pheasant album, very homely but drenched in the kind of fog more normally found on the Yorkshire moors. Excellent throughout, it features contributions from John Twells (Xela) and it's nice to see Under the Spire moving on up to properly manufactured CDs and LPs.
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