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The Inevitable Teaspoons - Rearranging Deckchairs - debut EP


neepheid
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

"Feedback" forum?  I don't know if the horse is even near the water, never mind refusing to drink it ;)

Anyway, a couple of months ago we were on SHMU doing the Band of the Week thing and played a few tunes, unplugged apart from the bass.  Two are on the EP, one isn't, so you can have a compare and contrast if you like.  WHAT?  YOU WANT ME TO LISTEN TO THE SAME SONG TWICE WHEN I DIDN'T EVEN WANT TO LISTEN TO IT ONCE?  Damn right I do, tumbleweed.

 

 

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(I just gave it a once over so don't take it too seriously either way, but since you're complaining about tumbleweed and if you're really ganting on feedback...)

I didn't like it all that much. I can't definitely put my finger on why, but I think basically neither the singing nor the drumming is very good and it doesn't hang together all that well. (I clicked the live/unplugged link first, thought the drumming sounded out of time, read the post, then went back to EP link...) while I dunno enough about drumming and/or this style to say the guy can't play very well, a lot of the time the drumming style sounds a bit insipid and/or not to fit the music. With the singing, I'm guessing this is a keys player who happens to be doing the vocals and it's just a bit ropey. I did really like the key lines on the second track and I more or less enjoyed the instrumental jams sections in a straightforward jazzy way. More generally: like a lot of stuff in the feedback forum - or music in general, really, now that there is infinite free music at a mouse click - ultimately, I don't dislike it and would probably enjoy myself if I happened to find myself in a live gig, but there's no reason to give it listening time, let alone buy it or go out of my way to see it live, for obvious (too much awesomeallkillernofiller music in the way) reasons.

With regards to it "not hanging together": I dunno, but seeing the name and the Rubik's cube I was expecting something maybe deliberately "clever" and/or technical in addition to irreverent. And listening to it, I'm not sure if it is just that and I'm not getting it, or if it's really just trad R'n'B and that's just not my cup of tea and/or it's not that well done. Unless I'm much mistaken you used to play in/post about the Oxbow Lake Band (I Googled it and seems there's some personnel overlap); (this was again just based on mostly once-overs, and since I don't live in Aberdeen any would-I-see-it-live? statements are just hypothetical, but) I really liked the stuff I heard from that band, and I thought that was a great combination of: interesting trad genres; eclectic irreverence for those (and any other) genres; serious, sophisticated chops; as well as, natch, satisfying song-writing and compositions. With these tracks, it feels like a similar approach, badly executed.

(wow-that-was-a-lot-of-parenthesis).

 

 

 

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My feelings on this go along the same lines as above. Theres an odd swing in tempo in most of the songs, particularly the drumming (whether thats a confidence thing, something that went wrong in recording, intentional or just terrible drumming- i'd hope it was one of the first options), that jarrs in a really offputting way. If it was jazz it would still be odd.

It doesn't really grab me much and I think the recording is a bit hollow as well, it lacks any sort of "beef" in the mid-range (the drums not being in-line with the bass doesn't help that) and even if you were going for a fairly lo-fi retro feel it's still possible to get a little bit more clout behind it.

I think the only thing that I liked about it on the whole was the Doors vibe I was getting but it's not enough for me to listen again.

With regard to the lack of feedback, i'm surprised that certain members on here haven't given you feedback given their high level of involvement in the scene but it's always been a tough sell on here.

 

 

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Some very short feedback: I would never listen to this again. Not because it's bad necessarily, but because I just don't understand what it is. The songs aren't offensive, but they certainly don't grab me and dare I say, quite boring.

I think ultimately the songwriting is just not quite there. Needs stronger melodies. Genuinely, the bass is the best part of the tracks.

This sounds pretty scathing, but that said, I'm pretty sure there are plenty of people around that would wholly appreciate this type of music, and the musicianship is clearly at a high level.

 

TL;DR: Didn't like, but I'm sorry about it.

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I really like it. I agree that the recordings aren't as beefy as they could be but I certainly don't think it's enough to put me off. The bass and the keys are really enjoyable, the horns feel a little messy in a good way, like they're jamming their parts rather than playing to sheet music. The drums, I really have no strong opinion on. I can't see them as a source of criticism, other than that the bass and drums aren't necessarily locked together as tightly as they could be. And I like the chap's voice.

The only real criticism I have is that the songs don't have any real defining feature. Like, when you think of Smoke on the Water, you immediately think of THAT riff.. or with most songs there's a hook or a chorus or a riff or a something that makes the song stick with you, whereas these tracks seem to lack that. The verse seems to bleed into the chorus so gradually that you don't realise that the chorus is over until you hit the refrain/solo/bridge/other part.

Will definitely be keeping an eye out for future stuff and am keenly looking to see it live to see if there are more pronounced dynamics live.

 

xx

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  • 2 months later...

I’ve not listened to this until now, but coming onto this site and reading these comments, well I had to!…... I’ve flicked through it and the one stand out element that has not previously been noted is kenny’s trombone rifs/refrains/melodies which are the stand out parts. And I think are great.

 

You still have the same issue with the back line from when you were with the oxbows (and why I decided not to release any of that material we recorded). The drums are lazy and the bass technique is ‘avant’ to the beat. It then combines to create something very loose and messy. When I’ve overdubbed the bass on our recorded tracks it improves as the organ and (lazy beat) drums are locked in together better. So I would advise locking in with the drums and organ more on the bass i.e. change your bass technique.

 

I have to agree with the above that this is a tad boring (and a bit geeky!) impersonation of the oxbow lake band.

 

As a first attempt at song writing and recording, I genuinely don’t think it’s that bad! But I’d request that you go and find your own identity, something unique and original for yourselves.

 

I’m amazed to find out you’re even doing the same arrangements of cover songs as the oxbows, in your live set. Surely you had some plan to create your own sound and set list?

 

Sorry, but this isn’t so much ‘rearranging deckchairs’, but knocking them all over into a bit of a ramshackle pile.

 

You could tap into the creative mind of Kenny, his punk ska melodies are great. Play to your strengths.

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I've heard the newest demos and it's a lot tighter and more unified than the EP.

As for the bass players bass technique? Matt has taught himself from scratch, in fact still learning the basics on being recruited into Oxbow Lake. As far as I've seen he had no bass "heroes" or major influences to pinch from or aspire to and unlike many of us bassists went straight to bass without having first played another instrument. What he plays is natural to him and I applaud the purity of this. It's not hard to understand that his first band cast the die for the riffs he lets forth in this EP but having heard the new recordings it's plain to see that he has definitely "levelled up" with the Teaspoons.

Don't forget he has to fill a lot of space in this guitar-less outfit but he gets his head down and does a great job. Cut him some slack!

 

 

 

P.S. I still keep wanting to hear female backing vocals in this and the new recordings though. :)

 

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I remember catching you guys live and enjoying it. To me the recording doesn't really do you justice. I do think the addition of some simple backing guitar to flesh out the changes and hold everything down would add to the recorded sound, but may not be required live. No fucking wahwah pedals though.

I wouldn't be concerned with this chat about Oxbow, its not like they invented that, and you clearly enjoy, so why not.

Go get em, tiger.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perhaps i'm missing something, or have some sort of out of kilter hearing, but this doesn't sound bad like others have made out. It seems kind of out of place, in that there arent many bands peddling this sort of thing these days that are on my radar at all, so in Aberdeen, the land where anything not punk or metal of some form is regarded with suspicion, this will seem positively freakish. It has a late 70's/80's feel to it, some of it reminded me of The The circa 'Mind Bomb'. I would enjoy it live I think.

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