Int'l Shades CD review [Cass]

Music Reviews
Int'l Shades CD review [Cass]
Jun 8, 2007, 05:36


INT'L SHADES Hash Wednesday CD

On the one hand, I would encourage anyone who gets the itch to go ahead, write songs, form a band, record and play in front of a live audience. It's a nice challenge, worthy of discipline and provides a thrill like few others. On the other hand, I'd humbly suggest that those thus engaged in such an endeavor run the occasional reality check as to how strangers may respond to your efforts and adjust expectations accordingly. For some, it's best to undertake this enterprise solely for your own kicks, enjoying the indulgence of friends giving 'em an encore at the local bar on open mic night and leave it at that. Ain't no harm in that, girl!

Case in point: Int'l Shades who play ably enough and with obvious enthusiasm. Their basic grasp of certain formulae of modern rock styles is undeniable. And that's about it, and gets 'em only so far and not an iota more. Hash Wednesday is too apt a title for their CD as the music herein is a predictable use of staple leftovers. This is a typical recycling of post-Sonic Youth alt rock conventions: noisy guitar rock riding a crest of resounding chords with a tinge of discord, this periodically devolving into segments of tepid riffery; it's all devoid of arresting hooks or any but the most rote of progressions. Singing is plain and unremarkable and while you sense the vocalists think there's panache conveyed by their lack of distinctive style, presence or passion, it's doubtful any listener will agree. The lyrics encountered are banal and obvious—describing a frozen lake as a “sheet of glass”—OY! You get the picture

In summation, I hope these folks dig that they're doing this exclusively for their own entertainment—and encourage them to continue doing so. Sadly, the fact that Bob Bert, Sonic Youth's second drummer, is party to this sorta blows my mind. [Cass Records]

-Howard Wuelfing

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