Sunday, September 02, 2012

Slim Twig: "Sof' Sike" (album review)

Sof' Sike is the new album from Toronto musician/actor/whackadoodle Slim Twig.  It's another dose of his quirky-for-quirkiness-sake garage indie pop.

The album's sound is built around a thin D.I.Y. production values and garage rock arrangements, with a bit of keyboard tossed casually on top to add an extra layer.

It works on occasion.  "Gun Shy" is an undeniably catchy number.  The funeral home atmosphere of "Priscilla" is an eerie, Cramps-like concoction.

The keyboards and low-budget production do get grating after a while.  Tracks like "Madeline Has A Body" and "Marzipan Sands" are monotonous, requiring a near-superhuman feat of endurance from the listener.  The squealing guitar on "I'll Always Be A Child" is ear-splitting without being rewarding, innovative, or even interesting.

One can't help but come away with the impression that the lo-fi production and lack of attention in the mix is just part of the gimmick Slim Twig has devised.  There are decent moments, like the opener "The Shortest Path To Hell", but even those tend not to live up to the vision.  It's almost as though dreaming up the concept was enough for him, with the execution left as an inconvenient afterthought.

Sof' Sike is an example of what can go wrong when more importance is placed on a musician's vision than on the actual music he is making.  It's not a record that begs for repeated listens.  It will only gobble up precious space on your hard drive.

Best tracks: "Gun Shy", "Priscilla"

Track listing for Sof' Sike:
  • The Shortest Path To Hell
  • Still the Same
  • LeBeija Pen' Davis
  • Gun Shy
  • Madeline Has A Body
  • Marzipan Sands
  • The Golden Rule
  • Priscilla
  • I'll Always Be A Child
  • Vile City
  • Altered Ego
  • Bold Is the White Ship
  • Love You As I Lay

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