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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

(the) Five - s/t

Name: (the) Five
Album: s/t
Year: 1987
Style: Rockabilly, Metal, Punk, Blues
Similar Bands: Cows, Social Distortion, Glenn Danzig
"One-Word" Review: Grueling-Growl-blunk
Based Out Of: Pittsburgh/Boston
Label: BEM
(the) Five - Cover & Record
(the) Five - Back & Record

(the) Five (1987)
  1. The Long Haul 3:22
  2. No Regrets 2:59
  3. All The Way 3:44
  4. Invocation 2:28
  5. All Right 3:31
  6. Pray For Me 2:59 /
  7. Sacred Heart 3:50
  8. The Only Honorable Thing 2:44
  9. Same To Me 3:46
  10. Cut me Loose 2:24
  11. The Fat Lady Sings 3:09
  12. When Yr Done 3:33
Album Rating (1-10): 8

Members & Other Bands:
Reid Paley - Vox (Reid Paley Trio)
Tom Moran - Guitar (Deliberate Strangers)
Dave Doremus - Bass (The Cuts, The Dark)
Brian Gillespie - Drums (My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Busted Statues, Concussion Ensemble)
Lou Giordano - Produced & Engineered
Butch Belair - Jacket Design & Photography
John Maxon - Live Sound
Jack Bresnahan - Cover Boy

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of these guys. But with the dark and depressing blue textures and bold purple font, grouped with the scratchy handwritten liner notes (along with the dates) I was given the impression that this might be like Dinosaur Jr. or something from that pre-alternative indie time frame and genre. Side A was recorded about a year after Side B, so we’ll see if there is any digression in sound change from side to side. And the shorthand text and instrumentation also adds to the Dino Jr./slacker categorization.

Album Review: “The Long Haul” has a shoe gazing guitar and drum kicks that are quickly replaced by loud rock guitars and stong, deep vocals similar to, but more melodic than Tod A from Cop Shoot Cop / Firewater. Perhaps like a bluesier (and definitely more melodic) version of the Cows. “No Regrets” is a fuzzy honky-tonk guitar & pub blues song. It leans toward hard rock-a-billy as well; I could hear them this song being played at the same show as Social Distortion. I like the chorus of this song. It kinda leaves you dangling waiting for another syllable or note, but never delivers initially. “All The Way” starts with a few scattered slide guitar notes, and then the heavy pub blues bass carries the song, with wailing guitars and hi-hat percussion. Paley bellows away like Glen Danzig in Mother. “Invocation” is a more driving song noted immediately with the count off drumming. The bass line jumps around, reminding me a bit of Green Day’s Longview. “All Right” has industrial tool sounding guitars echoing the shouted vocals. The upturned melodies at the end of his lines makes me thing of classic metal acts. This is a very minimal song, and basically a highlight real for interesting lead guitar effects and solos. “Pray For Me” continues the Dum-De-Dum rockin beat with bass and lead guitar as well. It has a creative and catchy little guitar hook that is very fun.

“Sacred Heart” starts again with the shoegazy loopy guitars like the first album did. But then the devious, dark pub rock-a-billy driving tempo takes over. His vocals also sound s little like Keith Caputo’s deep grumblings from Life Of Agony. “The Only Honorable Thing” is darker, heavy country-rock bass and grinding guitars. He has a very interesting and fun voice to follow along with. He skates the fine line between satanic metal and spoken word punk. I bet they were a hell of a great live show. “Same To Me” begins initially as a slow sea-shanty of a ballad; it picks up fuzz and noise a couple of times, but mainly goes back to the oscillating rhythm. He croons, again like Danzig, and hangs onto the notes with an incredibly deep groaning. “Cut me Loose” enters with two bass notes and a kick drum that sets the song into motion with punk rock pace and Rancid-like use of metal guitars. “The Fat Lady Sings” features a sliding scale guitar that leads you back to the great same six note back and forth hook. Featuring lots of metal lead guitar solos, and some spoken word sections, the song displays what Paley’s vocals are best at: strained gruff shout-singing. “When Yr Done” shows more diversity in Paley’s voice. He sings lower and calmly in the chorus, counterbalanced by the unpredictable volume and intensity increases in the verse. It has a real pure rock and roll guitar to this song that breaks right down into another impressively strong vocal performance of the chorus to end the song and the album

This is a really solid and fantastic album; it is hard to put a finger on what category to place it in, whether it be metal-blues, country-punk, or demon-rock-a-billy. Whatever. It is just good. And seeing that Reid is out playing a show at L.A.’s the Mint on inauguration day, I hope to see him live here in Philly some day.

Stand Out Track: Pray For Me

1 comment:

  1. http://reidpaley.com