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Feature Crush: C.D. on Songs, 01/22/10

January 22, 2010
Download all the songs… no not here. Down at the bottom. After you read this whoooole post.

David Mirabella – “Breakheart Skyline”

Some songs will rely on a melody or a story to bring them through to the end. Dave Mirabella’s “Breakheart Skyline,” on the other hand, brings the listener through with an overall feel. It is a gentle yet inexorable swing that carries this song through, propelled by gentle swells of softly-strummed acoustic guitar.
This song has a very natural feeling rhythm that carries through from the verse to the cascading melodies of the chorus. Like a waterfall that ends in another river, the song continues seamlessly back to the original feel of the verse that creates the prevailing mood of the track.
While the strummed guitar powers the song’s progress, it is steered by Mirabella’s softly-stated vocal. Is there heartbreak evident in the song as stated by the title? Mirabella’s vocal delivery infers past heartbreak and maybe a tinge of current. His performance is not drenched in drama, rather he sounds almost calmly heartbroken.

Dreamtigers – “Settlement”
At first, this track may seem somewhat disjointed, like the conglomeration of several different ideas or scenes from other songs that are introduced individually. “Settlement” works like one of those movies that shows you the pieces at first and then puts the story together through a series of flashbacks and other rear-view cinematic devices.
The meat of this song comes in the chorus, a solidly swinging mid-power dirge that rocks the walls with each sidewards thrust. While this song reads more like a long paragraph than, say, a series, this part seems to be what would be commonly recognized as the “chorus.”
Once we are given the lay of the song through this “chorus” part, we are able to view the rest of it in context to the larger piece. The earlier chords make more sense, the rhythm comes together, and we find out where the Dreamtigers have led us, largely without even knowing that we are being brought somewhere. Much like those disjointed films that you don’t fully
understand until the very end, you will find re-listening to this song with the benefit of hindsight rewarding in that you now know who is behind the mask and where the secret destination lays.

Girlfriends – “Suckin Rare Meat off the Bone China”

In the ultimate proof that the digital age of MP3’s and amazingly forward-thinking blogs that review bands on a song by song basis, it shows us that
we have almost come full circle when a band puts out a demo cassette. The three members of Girlfriends are good sports who can play by the rules and sent us an MP3. Which is good, because I don’t even have a tape deck handy.
Whatever their motivation may be for clinging to the medium of tape, their sound would be delicious coming from tape, record, compact disc or Victrola. It sounds as if Girlfriends recorded this song on an over-sized skillet. The rhythms and guitars sizzle as if they are dancing around like tasty pieces of bacon while drummer Andrew Sadoway (who may or may not actually be Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference) pounds away on his poor drum set like it’s messing with his goalie. And also frying. Meanwhile the vocal prattles on and hoots like the singer is running around in circles on the skillet, and wouldn’t you too, were you standing on a stage-sized frying pan? You bet your bacon you would.
The frantic feel of “Suckin Rare Meat off the Bone China” is a gleefully driven mess, but it’s the kind of mess where you have everything you need at your fingertips. The vocal hoots provide little arcs in this song’s EKG that will stick your head and make you want to listen to this track again and again, until you eventually lose your mind and start hooting along.

Elijah Wyman – “What I Save in Flowers I Spend in Postage”
This song has character in that you can almost literally hear it wake up, rub its own eyes and sit up in bed with a good stretch, ready to face the day. Or not – it then takes a look about and decides to start the whole process again, closing its eyes only to wake up again and go through the motions.
This up and down, over and out makes up part of the song, and it is only when we decide to listen closely to discern the story that the song picks up, finally getting out of bed and moving around the room, slightly disheveled but with a definite sense of articulate purpose – Wyman’s voice is soft but insistent to express itself. His vocal phrases are long, sometimes running over the end of the musical phrasing, but always doing so gracefully.
The carefully measured instrumentation make the long-winded vocal stand out when it runs over, but Wyman’s gentle delivery charms the lyric past the finish line and over the start of the next run-through. The interplay between the vocal and the music – each with their own personality and story to tell – brings this song home and keeps us actually interested.

Want to submit your band’s song to C.D. On Songs?
To be reviewed in a C.D. On Songs column:
  • Be a Boston-based band/artist.
  • Email a single mp3/m4a/etc. (or a download link to one) to cdonsongs (at) gmail (dot) com, with the subject line “C.D. on Songs” (DO NOT send us a bunch of songs and make us pick, we will ignore you). We require a file – not a streaming link.
  • Include album cover art if you have any. If you don’t, a band photo or logo is acceptable.
  • We will assume that we have your permission to make the song downloadable on Boston Band Crush (readers will want to hear it, after all).
  • If that’s not ok with you, say so and provide us with a link to the song on an embeddable player like ReverbNation – something we can include in the post (and not just link to).

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