Rivulets/Marc Gartman CD review [Tract]

Music Reviews
Rivulets/Marc Gartman CD review [Tract]
Mar 16, 2004, 04:32


Rivulets first two records appeared on the Chairkickers label and Marc Gartman is a producer of Low videos but they share more in common than an affiliation with Alan Sparhawk and an appearance on this split CD. Both play music that is calm, deliberate and slightly ominous; like a soundtrack for a spaghetti western that takes place on the north shore of Lake Superior.

Two of Rivulets five tracks are reworks of “Cutter,” a song that also appeared on their second LP, Debridement. Like much of that record the three new songs bear the weight of heavy sighs but with less threat of pain, as the only killing that is being contemplated is the killing of time. And the well wishes in the song “Happy New Year” sound relatively optimistic even though singer Nathan Amundsen seems to be well aware that no party can last forever.

Marc Gartman's five tracks sound equally cold, quiet and alone but even at his most self analytical (“The Error of My Ways” and “Grave Mistake”) his problems seem like the kind that will eventually blow over. Maybe it's the simple, explicit piano accompaniment that magnifies the dignity in his voice but even when covering Neil Young's “Love Can Break Your Heart” Marc doesn't come off as someone who would ever slit his wrists. [Tract]

-Jeffrey L. Ouch

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