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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Drunk - To Corner Wounds

Name: Drunk
Album: To Corner Wounds
Year: 1998
Style: Minimal Indie Folk
Similar Band: Smog, Sparklehorse, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, World/Inferno & Ween Slow stuff.
"One-Word" Review: Rustic-Frozen-Somber-Folk
Based Out Of: Richmond, VA
Label: Jagjaguwar
 To Corner Wounds - Cover, Liner Notes, Record, JagJagwuar Insert
 To Corner Wounds - Back, Liner Notes, Record, JagJagwuar Insert
Lyrics (by request) to Andrei Rublev

To Corner Wounds (1998)

  1. Carved Slope 2:35
  2. Council's Lawn 4:29
  3. Andrei Rublev 5:19
  4. The Peeled Birch 2:17
  5. Epoxy 2:56
  6. As We Go Down Together 1:48/
  7. The Bark of My Body 3:03
  8. Spit 3:27
  9. Rake 5:55
  10. Bonitov 3:27
  11. Montana Delight 1:26
  12. Cold Eel 1917 2:51
Album Rating (1-10): 5.0

Members & Other Bands:
Rick Alverson - Vox, Guitar (Manishevitz, Spokane)
Via Nuon - Guitars, Bass, Slide, Banjo, Vox (Manishevitz, Bevel, Spokane)
J.T. Yost - Accordion, Piano, Harmonica, Magnus Organ
Russel Cook - Drums
Clancy Fraher - Producer, Engineer, Mixing, Cicadas, Bass, Vox, Tape DJ, Slide
Brent Lambert - Mastering
Cal Gardner - Clarinet
Steve Pletch - Drums
Joe Nio - Violin
Mr. Blasco - Flute
Bill Russel - Wurlitzer Organ
Kendra Feather - Vox
Patrick Kavanagh - Pennywhistle

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band. Picked up the record in a dollar band in a hipsterry record store. From the look of the record, I imagine it to be some sort of acquired taste, snotty chamber pop. But then again, they have a counter stuck-up name, Drunk. So I still think it will be ambiently modest in production, but might not be as pretentious as I’d imagine from the front & back old-timey artwork.

Album Review: “Carved Slope” starts with a lullaby of guitar and bass, with a cicada chirp in the background that fades in and out, giving the sense of nighttime out in a woodsy summer night. It feels like a somewhat progressive Ween song…like it might break into “right to the ways and the rules of the world”
“Council's Lawn” starts with a deepish, nasally vocal that sounds to be on live support. The slightly medieval musical accompaniment is dark, slow and steady with some woodwinds bringing a sad refrain. The instrumental end of the song is like an eastern European, Russian or Yiddish dance number.
“Andrei Rublev” also begins with sad, somber and quiet guitars. The same wavering vocals then begin in short phrased segments. I do get a similarity to a broken down, minimal slow World Inferno Friendship Society song. The strings come to the front of the song with an Irish style melody for a short segment. The song remains interesting the whole time, despite its lack of energy. It features many musical changes and melodies that keep it fresh.
“The Peeled Birch” with its plucked strings, and addition of organ bring the somber and rustic melody to life. It has a very rural country feel to it, as if it were the background music for a carriage ride from farm to farm on a bleak, cold, overcast day.
“Epoxy” continues the same sentiment, as if the album is one long, wintery, bleak track. The plucked string are like pin-pricks of cold. The flute paints a picture of a single human huddled for warmth playing in isolation.
“As We Go Down Together” begins with a single organ note and is already more upbeat than the rest of the album. The keyboard plays a looping melody that has some Welsh characteristics and is uplifting, even with the static found sound vocal track underneath, like samples of audio while flipping through tv stations. Thus, without vocals, it is basically an instrumental track.

“The Bark of My Body” begins side two with the slow, plodding tempo of near frozen joints trying to move but stumbling. The static vocals are layered underneath, and the Harmonica carries the supporting melody.
“Spit” contains the same fragile vocals we’ve had the whole time, but this time, they are “harmonized” by a second vocal. The side to side swaying is not as bleak as the rest of the album, but still does not posess any energy. This is an album to fall asleep to.
“Rake” has an eerie, wispy start, and blossums into a slowly building melody. This song really reminds me of something Ween would do, like the Argus mixed with Cold Blows the Wind. Half way through the song, the recorder/flute is brought in to accompany the melody, giving the song an Irish and Asian feel simotaniously. The melody is then replaced by a harmonica, and the rustic, mid west feeling is back. It is a melody that could repeat forever, but at one point it just ends and is bookended with the same eerie effects from the beginning.
“Bonitov” does noting to change the album’s mood, except its melody is carried along with a plucked banjo. The song has a bounce to it that is barely detectable, but I could hear this being the background to a slow & tedious Man Man song.
“Montana Delight” is a somewhat upbeat country and western song. It is a true campfire, jugband western song, rather than an awful radio developed twang monstrosity. But the song still carries an dark underbelly, mainly thanks to the fragile vocals.
“Cold Eel 1917” ends the album with the general album vibe of minimal slow, somber countryside funeral music. Like an old tyme funeral, the music does become more jovial, to celebrate life rather than just morn the loss of it. This song captures both excited and sad tones as the album comes to a close, making it representative for the entire album.

Stand Out Track: Montana Delight 



  1. Hello there!

    Could you please send me the lyrics of Andrey Rublev? It seems there is none on the Internet.

    Thank you,
    Tim (likewashingmachine@gmail.com)

  2. I'll see if i can get a better, clearer snapshot of the lyrics in the liner notes, and add it to this post. Thanks for the request!