There's a certain Mark Eitzel melancholy at heart in the work of Splintered Man. They consist of Simon Kobayashi and Alex Carter. Simon being the singer/guitarist and Alex playing guitar and doing some back up. There's a host of other people involved including Jon Clayton who produced the thing. This will definitely appeal to fans of Mark Kozelek, Smog and the aforementioned Mark Eitzel/American Music Club axis.
1. Stay By My Side2. Dartford Tunnel3. I'll Get Back To You4. Home To No Home5. Oh My6. A Quiet Life7. Patient Song8. Parent Song9. There Was A Love10. I Think The Shape Of Your Head11. You Corrupted Me
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One for the Mark Eitzel fan in your life….or that person that thought Mark Kozelek was never quite as good one he disbanded Red House Painters. The quieter tracks have the same feel as Eitzel’s finger-picked gems such as ‘Jenny’ or ‘Blue and Grey Shirt’. Its immediate from the get go what they are aiming for and they pretty much succeed. Opener ‘Stay By My Side’ is pretty classy way to get things going, the two acoustic guitars pluck away whilst vocalist Simon Kobayashi mopes forlornly on top. ‘Dartford Tunnel’ is more upbeat with full on splashy drumming giving a more ‘band’ feel to the proceedings. It has the same windswept feel as the excellent American band Idaho or Robin Proper-Sheppard’s Sophia project. The song is nicely crafted with lots of little asides, the guitars chunk and chewy and on tracks like ‘Home To No Home’ they use complex picking patterns that could hark back to John Fahey or all manner of mid 90’s Chicago bands.
Throughout its a beautifully produced effort, with plenty of upbeat moments amid the gloom but the album hits hardest of the sweetly melancholic tracks such ‘Oh My’ and ‘I Think the Shape Of Your Head’, two perfectly executed tracks which will send you sprawling back to that mood you got in when you first heard Red House Painters ‘Rollercoaster’ album.
7/10 Neal McKenna Customer review, 28th August 2014
I bought this on the strength of the previous review by Norman Records. Although I think the Eitzel and Kozelek comparisons may be over-doing it a little ( I'm a big fan of both ) this is still rather good. In fact, the comparisons may be doing the record a slight dis-service as I think it stands up pretty well on it's own strengths.
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