Big Jaw : Fort Fun

Clint Roth, aka Big Jaw, is a name you may not know but give it a little time. He’ll be a name you’ll know soon enough. I’ll give youbig-jaw some highlights: Roth grew up in the Midwest but is now based in Austin, TX. He’s one of those incredibly talented cats that can play everything. On top of that he can write hella good songs, too. He’s everything that makes up the perfect storm in regards to musician/singer/songwriters go. He even touts a pretty manly mustache.

As Big Jaw, Roth has put out two extremely solid EPs. The first was the exquisitely raucous Appetite For Construction, which he followed up with the riff-heavy Photophobia in 2014. Roth returned to the confines of a small practice space and pushed himself to create. The result is the newest Big Jaw banger called Fort Fun. It’s everything you’ve come to expect from Roth, and then some.

So here’s a little background on Fort Fun, from the man himself:

A little over a year ago, I got a one month lockout in an hourly rehearsal facility here in Austin. I loaded all my recording gear, and guitars, amps, and drums, into a little 14’x14′ room with other hourly rehearsal rooms on three sides and above(think Pantera cover bands in Quad) . I went in with no ideas of what I was going to do. No songs started. My goal was to put myself in that space as much as possible over that month when I wasn’t at work, and see what came out. I wasn’t going to edit my output while I was in that space. I just let myself be free to mess around with any idea that popped up and see where it led.

Where it led was to a five song EP called Fort Fun and the mesmerizing album opener “Homesick”. It opens with woozy synth sounds(think the intro to “Fly Like An Eagle”) before the song blows open with big guitars and drums. Roth sings “Drop acid by the covered bridge/ Write with satan’s chalk/Ditch all your uniforms/Before you run from the cops”, as the song moves along like some long lost mid-90s alternative track you might’ve heard on 96.3 in its heyday. “Tell Me What I Want To Hear” sports a driving rhythm and lyrics like “I Am A Dancer Trapped Inside /The Body of a Lamppost /Let’s Get Weird With It Tonight /And Dance Until The Sunrise”. This is one of those songs you can’t help but play air drums along to. It’s an infectious jam. “If We Could Breathe In Space” sounds like neo-futuristic power guitar pop. Jazz-inflected chords float above the proceedings as Roth makes good use of space and atmosphere. It’s a truly unique track. “Third Ontological Dimension of The Body” is a short interlude of  buzzes and beeps that Roth said he got all the source material from a pinball arcade. “Restless Heart” could also be called “Workingman’s Blues”. Riff heavy rocker talking about day jobs and girls that just don’t get it. $7 to his name, watching a Tom Cruise racing flick, and fine dining in soup kitchens. This track has it all, and it’s a hell of a way to end the EP.

Big Jaw make hard-driving rock and roll with touches of power pop and 90s alternative, as well as something unique in Clint Roth as a songwriter with an ear for sonics and melody. Fort Fun continues Roth’s winning streak and makes good on the promise of Photophobia. It’s an adrenaline-fueled joy ride. A hot wired batch of tunes ready to burn rubber.

7.8 out of 10

Causa Sui Revisited Part One : Summer Sessions Vol. 1 – 3

In lieu of the boxset Live From Copenhagen dropping next month, I thought I’d hit up a couple of my favorite Causa Sui albums. You know, chat ’em up, break ’em down, and generally just wax ecstatic about some of the amazing records that have been bestowed upon this world by these rock and roll Danes. So by all means go grab a beer, your favorite Danish snack, or put on your favorite pair of party slacks and dig in.

img_2841Would it be wise to recommend to the uninitiated listener a three volume record set as their first foray into the Causa Sui musical world? Hell if I know, I’m not all that wise. So instead of playing it safe and throwing Euporie Tide out there, I’m saying you should jump head first into it and dig into Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3. These albums, for me, are where it’s at. The first Causa Sui record, self-titled, was a toe dipped into the psych and stoner rock waters. Lots a Fu Manchu and Kyuss love happening on that album, but had these guys kept on that road(complete with fuzzed-out guitars and vocals) I don’t think I’d be sitting here talking to you folks about Causa Sui. While they were very adept at the genres, they were merely sewing their oats. They got the crunchy rock out of the way so they could crack open their heads and let the serious mojo ooze out. Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3 take you on a musical journey. Intellectual noodling. Free form psych. Interstellar jamming. Three records that have it all, and then some.

Summer Sessions Vol. 1 opens with a psyche crusher called “Visions Of Summer”. It’s like early Santana, the Doors “Riders On The Storm”, and Miles’ Bitches Brew all rolled up into this exquisite and tasty delight. Latin-flavored rhythms intertwine with dreamy keys, tasteful big riff guitars, and some punchy bass. It ebbs and flows between heavy moments and atmospheric horizons. It flows between late 60s idealism and early 70s “f*ck it, lets burn it down” machismo to stunning effect. If you’re looking to make a statement, “Visions Of Summer” is a hell of a way to greet folks. And at nearly 25 minutes you’ve got time to step away for a smoke(or make an omelet) and come back before you miss anything good. “Red Sun In June” has a nice jazzy feel in the tasteful drumming of Jakob Skott, while Jonas Munk lays on some heavy phased-out guitar. This track feels like a companion piece to a hella summer buzz. Bloodshot squinted eyes look past a blazing sun burning its way down into the ocean as you melt into the summer sand. Smooth. As. F*ck. “Portixeddu” is this spaced-out exploration into the heart of the sun. Whizzing noises and some serious grooves(more cowbell, please) fly past your ears as the Causa Sui crew mine some serious desert rock voodoo. “Soledad” sounds like some heady Meddle-like Pink Floyd haziness. I also think this track hints at future endeavors and vibes the Sui cats will explore with their Pewt’r Sessions.

Summer Sessions Vol. 2 greets us at the door with some Andre Segovia overtones in some classical guitar vibes and specter-like sounds before getting all dirge-y with the behemoth called “Rip Tide”. Imagine a cross between Black Sabbath and Hendrix’ Experience and you may have an idea of what you’re getting into with this hell of a track. Munk finds his inner Jimi while the Skott and Kahr do a damn fine job of laying down some serious Redding/Mitchell vibes. Then when you least expect it Johan Riedenlow lays down some seriously squanky sax that brings on the Interstellar Space vibes. “The Open Road” is this intense psychedelic freakout. Munk, Kahr, Rasmussen, and Skott can make some of the best freakout noise out there. Riedenlow shows up once again to lay down some serious bebop sounds. It’s 14 minutes of heady noises to clear the cobwebs from your tired minds, folks. “Cinecitta” is nearly a new age vacation from all the noisy grandeur and bombast. You can almost feel the breeze coming off Kattegat or Skagerrak as you let the mellow vibes come over you. The epic ending to Vol. 2 comes in the form of the atmospheric and expansive “Tropic Of Capricorn”. Whether Henry Miller’s classic novel or the December solstice was the inspiration remains to be seen. Regardless, this 23-minute epic ride that sounds like a cross between Hawkwind and At Fillmore East-era Allman Brothers Band will satisfy every aspect of music lover. It’s a beautiful mix of classic rock and jam-inspired musical exploration. You can’t go wrong here. Not one damn minute is wasted.

Summer Sessions Vol. 3 kicks off with “Eugenie”, a doomier track than we’re used to hearing from Causa Sui. Riedenlow shows up for some more nuanced saxophone, but the real star of the show here is Jonas Munk’s guitar display. He makes good use of the Crybaby pedal and let’s the dirge do the talking. “Red Valley” hints at Euporie Tide and its ability to go from doom-laden riffs to more upbeat, head in the clouds optimism. “Red Valley” has become a staple of Causa Sui’s live show and for good reason, it rocks. “Lonesome Traveller” feels like a “Red Valley” reprise, while “Santa Sangre” opens like Billy Thorpe’s “Children of the Sun” on mescaline. There’s a feeling of earth and soil with this one, as if the music is emanating from the cracked ground under our feet. This is one where the sax should’ve sat out, as it feels like it breaks up the massive tension created from the rhythm section and Munk’s guitar work. Still, that’s a small complaint. “Venice By The Sea” sets us off on a course into the sunset. It’s an adios to the explosive riffs and crystalline expanse of the world Causa Sui created for us to exist in.

Now these three records were originally meant to be listened to separately, as they were all released at different times. Last year all three records were sold together as a box set and I have to say that I think as a whole the three different Summer Sessions volumes compliment each other quite nicely. You really get the vibe of this massive journey. Waves breaking in the distant background, voices carrying over the valley below as music swells and builds along the lakeshore. Late night jams lift into the blackened sky as synapses pop and spark in minds being blown. Causa Sui’s Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3 feel like a musical microcosm of the death of the Summer of Love and the birth of the darker era known as the 1970s. Jams took on darker tones. Music was more about satisfying the artist than the listener. If the listener dug it, then great. If not, well that was their problem.

Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3 are the point where Causa Sui let loose their most creative tendencies and never stopped.

Up next: Part Two

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Strand of Oaks : Hard Love

In lieu of me discussing some strange childhood trauma that correlates to a record purchase starting the work week out, I thought I’d give the floor to my good friend and fellow writer D.M. Jones. He’s written a stellar review of the new Strand of Oaks long player ‘Hard Love’ and needed a place for it to land. I said bring it on over to my place. So here he is. Enjoy. – J. Hubner

by D.M. Jones

What has Strand of Oaks, aka Tim Showalter, been up to since his sorta/kinda breakthrough Heal hit in 2014? More of the same:image1 touring tirelessly, morphing his “indie-folk darling” status into “indie-rock darling” status, and generally greeting the world with arms wide open. The latest full length, Hard Love, reflects Showalter’s commitment to taking it all in—the good and the bad—with an open heart. In interviews, he has referred to questing for joy rather than happiness; seeking out the joyful moments in life is attainable, while sustainable happiness rarely is. Hard Love rocks out with epic moments as it wears its heart on its sleeve. If that sounds like a description of vintage Bruce Springsteen, then you’re not far off in catching the spirit of the record. Showalter’s driving keyboards and tough guitars may not sonically recall Springsteen, but his earnestness does.

The album-opening title track builds to from a pulsing synth and breathy vocals to a sturdy marching rocker, with lines like “Calling you just to get over here, just to give a damn” demonstrating right off the bat that, as always, Showalter is more than willing to lay bare his soul. The song also shows that there’s maybe more than a little U2 lurking in his musical DNA. “Radio Kids” recalls some of the more musically aggressive moments on Heal, with lyrical vulnerability completely intact. By contrast, the spare, piano-and-vocal “Cry” works at a level of intimacy only a truly honest artist can pull off. When Showalter sings the line, “Hey, you’re making me cry,” you’re pretty sure there’s a tear or two hitting the studio microphone. The soulful “Salt Brothers” shows off Showalter’s vocal gifts, then he lets it all hang out on the raucous “Rest of It.” Following such a raveup, one might expect the record-closing tune to be something of a ruminative outro. But the 8-minute “Taking Acid and Talking to My Brother” (in which no acid is actually taken) is actually a climax to an already strong string of tracks. Showalter experienced his brother’s near death and coma, and this song channels the surreal feeling of total helplessness he and his family felt.

By fully living in the moment, the artist is better able to communicate the perception of that moment to others. That’s Showalter’s gift to us on Hard Love.

Lost My Shape, Trying To Act Casual

Last week we had my parents over on Valentine’s Day to share a massive pizza and some cake with. It was a nice evening of chit chat and laughter(it usually is with them.) After we ate we were in the living room talking when the conversation went to my childhood. My dad made the comment “You could be peculiar at times. You always got upset when we weren’t acting “normal”. When things were out of place it really bothered you.” At first I laughed, then I realized he was right. What shocked me was that my dad remembered this about me. I’d always known this to be true, that if things were off or my parents weren’t acting like my parents that I’d panic. But I never realized they noticed my (erratic)behavior. I guess parents notice more than you think, kids.

I can remember being 5 or 6 and trying to wake my mom up. She was on the couch and had fallen asleep. It was close to 11pm and I’d woken up from a bad dream. I’d gone out and found her on the couch with TV on in the dark. She was snoring(family trait) and I tried waking her up. My mom was a heavy sleeper and was prone to talking in her sleep. She slowing opened her eyes and seemed to be talking nonsense, which made my already nervous state even worse. I was half crying telling her to wake up when I think she was awake and looking at me like I was insane. I turned around and my dad was up and getting ready for work(he worked third shift at the time.) They both looked at each other like “WTF??”

I suppose this is something you don’t forget as an adult.

There were other instances. Complaining in a restaurant about a pizza not having enough meat on it(valid complaint, but in my 8 year old brain I thought “What if people look at us?”). On a pontoon with my parents and grandparents and we run out of gas in the middle of Lake Manitou. They were all a little on the intoxicated side and my dad started yelling “Help me! Help me!” in between bouts of laughter(we made it to shore unscathed.) I was horrified. And there were the late night games of Monopoly and UNO that would go on till midnight, on a school night. My brother and I had to finish the game regardless. “Finish what you started, guys.”

My parents didn’t seem like my parents in those moments. They just seemed like these people I resembled physically. They weren’t the loving couple that helped me with my homework, took my brother and I to amusement parks in the summer, fed us, clothed us, loved us, and generally made our lives pretty amazing.

They were just these people. People acting like other people than my parents.

I can remember having nightmares when I was really young that my parents were taken over by strange entities. I’m sure a lot of that came from watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers and V as a kid. One dream I remember was being at a construction site and I was inside a house that was just framed out. I was lost and couldn’t find my mom and dad. These people show up and they were outlined like two adults that could’ve been my mom and dad, except that the shapes were filled with television static. Outlines of two bodies walking towards me, but within the outlines was just analog static with occasional sparks of lightning inside. They spoke but it was in these buzzing tones. They were supposed to be my parents, but obviously they weren’t. It was terrifying to my pre-science fiction-loving mind. I’d had another dream around the same time where I’d woken up in the middle of the night and walked out to the kitchen and found my dad making coffee. I immediately ran into my parents bedroom and my dad was also in their bathroom shaving. Two dads, identical, in two different rooms of the house. Which one was the real dad? Who do I ask for a glass of water?

Now, being 43 years old and having read more than my share of psychology books I can see that it was a fear of change and a fear of losing my parents. I think its a pretty normal thing for kids, it just manifests itself differently with different people. And I can also look back and see that in those moments when my parents weren’t acting “normal”, they were just being themselves. At that young of an age I only knew mom and dad. I didn’t know them as individuals. I didn’t want to see them “having fun” or “goofing off”, or as just people(or not paying attention to me, dammit.) That’s confusing! But now that I’m in those shoes I can completely understand. You can’t lose sight of who you are. Sure you’re mom and dad, but sometimes mom and dad need to be individuals. You lose sight of who you are deep down, or who you once were and things get a little complicated. Maybe you’ll start resenting yourself and what you’ve become.

Hell, I don’t know. I’m not a psychologist.

So yes, I was a peculiar child. When things weren’t as they should’ve been I’d kind of freak out. I might be that way a little still, but at least the nightmares stopped(all but those back in high school nightmares.) And strangely enough I’m relieved that my parents saw how peculiar I could be, and yet they still seem to think I’m okay. Same with my family.

I think I’ve made my normal self as the dad that listens to vinyl, drinks micro-brews, reads comics, makes music in the basement, and loves science fiction. My kids would worry if I started reading the paper daily, watching football, drinking light beer, and going to church. Over the last few years I’ve made a concerted effort to “be me” in all aspects. Maybe that’s the difference between me and my parents. Parenting was more of a role 30, 40 years ago, as opposed to who a person was. I was used to the roles and not the individuals. Hopefully my kids know me as dad and that guy spinning records.

Or just the neurotic guy that sits in the living room often typing on a Chromebook.

 

“Bible Belt Devil Music” : MOBILE HOME Hit The Brass Rail March 3rd

By J. Hubner

Feature Photo by Allyson McClain

Don’t let that title fool you. There will be no virgin sacrifices or blood lettings happening on March 3rd at the Brass Rail(after 3am all bets are off.) What will be happening is some punked-up rockabilly ala X, the Replacements, Blondie, and The Stooges. Streetlamps For Spotlights’ Jason Davis has a knack for bringing quality rock and roll bands to town to lay waste to local stages, and on March 3rd he’ll continue the streak with Columbus, Ohio’s MOBILE HOME. Along with MOBILE HOME, Streetlamps For Spotlights will be christening the stage as well with their presence.

MOBILE HOME indeed play a twangy mix of punk rock and gritty country, but it’s all done so well and with a real heaping of class. Bassist/singer Jess Kauffman, guitarist/singer Kyle Martin, and drummer Aaron Michael Butler are a trio to be reckoned with. Their vocal harmonies ring beautifully both in the studio and onstage. Live, there’s an urgency to their dusty tunes that pulls you in immediately. My advice would be to get out on March 3rd and check these guys and gal out at an intimate place like the Brass Rail before the chances are all gone. What I’m saying is it’s only a matter of time before these three are playing far larger venues and far bigger cities.

Kyle and Jess sat down with me and answered a few questions. Enjoy.

J. Hubner: So, the band formed in Nashville but now spend time between Columbus and Athens, OH?

Kyle Martin: It’s actually the other way around.  We’re originally from Ohio, but we moved to Nashville in 2012.  We had more of a honky-tonk sound at that time.  We started the Mobile Home thing toward the end of 2015, then we came back to Ohio not long after that.

J. Hubner: You’ve definitely got a twang to your sound, but with a punk rock edge. Who are some influences?

Kyle Martin: Bands like X, Husker Dü, Replacements.  Blondie.  The Stooges.  We did a Misfits cover set for Halloween and we did The Clash-athon in Columbus in December.  But, we also love country music and rockabilly.  We want to sound like the Everly Brothers when we sing together.

J. Hubner: Your self-titled EP sounds amazing. Where did you record? What’s the songwriting process like?

Jess Kauffman: We recorded the EP at our friend, Eric McConnell’s, home studio in East Nashville.

Kyle Martin: Jess and I write independently, then help each other tweak and polish the details.  Aaron Butler helps a lot with the arrangements.  For this record, we made demos on the iPhone, then sent them to Aaron to learn.  The next time we met was at the studio.  So, what you hear on the EP is actually the first time we are all, together, playing those songs.

J. Hubner: You’ll be making the trek to Fort Wayne on March 3rd to play at the Brass Rail. Is this your first time playing Fort Wayne? 

Kyle Martin: This is Mobile Home’s first time playing Fort Wayne.  We’re performing with Streetlamps for Spotlights on Friday.  Those guys are fantastic, and we’ve been wanting to get to the Brass Rail for a while now.

J. Hubner: What can Fort Wayne expect from a Mobile Home show? You describe yourselves as “Bible Belt Devil Music”. Will there be exorcisms and incantations? 

Kyle Martin: No blood rituals…for now.  We’re really using that with a wink to refer to the way people might have used it years ago to refer blues musicians and early rockers.  I think people called it ‘devil music’ because it inspires dancing, drinking, sex, etc.  You can expect at least one of those at Mobile Home show.

mobile-home-7063-2J. Hubner: You’ve got a great EP under your belts. Is there any new music in the works? 

Kyle Martin: We just recorded a single for a  #BandsAgainstHate compilation coming out from Disjointed Records.  An album will be slower to come, but we’re getting after it.

Jess Kauffman: Proceeds from the compilation will be donated to a charity supporting Syrian Refugees.

J. Hubner: Any great gigs that stand out?

Kyle Martin: Our friends Brenda the band threw a big party in Louisville that featured an open chili dog bar.  That was a great time!

Jess Kauffman: Another one of our favorites was a show at Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Cleveland, mainly because we had a bowl-off between Mobile Home and our buddy band, Dune, prior to the show. And because we played the Locker Room stage.

J. Hubner: Any not-so great gigs that stand out?

Kyle Martin: We’ve played a few empty rooms, but in this line of work, we probably haven’t seen our last one yet.


Don’t let Mobile Home play to an empty room on March 3rd. Head out to the Brass Rail that night and watch two amazing bands tear it up. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed. Go show Mobile Home some love, and go give their great EP a listen over at https://mobilehome.bandcamp.com/releases.

 

 

 

No Country For Black Mollies

So I saw this show once on TV where there was this ragtag group of kids that befriended another kid that was different from them. These kids had lost one of their pals and the pal was presumed dead by everyone. But these kids(and the missing kid’s mom) knew different. They knew their friend and son wasn’t dead. He’d been taken away to a dark place. A place where the world had been turned inside out…upside down, even. It was a pretty amazing show. The acting was great, it was shot beautifully, and the music was absolutely unbelievable. Dark, hypnotic synth that surged throughout the entire series. It was wonderful.

No, the show wasn’t The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Yes, it was Stranger Things. I’ve been obsessed with the show and its music since I first double-downed on the entire 8-episode series on a Friday and Saturday night in July. By the 3rd episode my son had even said “Too bad they didn’t have this soundtrack on vinyl.” Well by October they did and I had it. Played it with vigor, and relish. That soundtrack was created by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein(yeah, I’m sure you know that already.) They’re in the Austin, TX band SURVIVE, which is a heavy synth 4-piece. I thought they’d released their debut album RR7439, which I bought up as quickly as it hit my local record shop. It ended up being one of my favorite albums of the year, but it also ended up that it wasn’t their debut album. Well, it was their debut with the most excellent Relapse Records, but they self-released a record called mnq026 back in 2012. After much procrastination and contemplation I found a copy of that debut on the fantastic(and quite dangerous) Discogs for a decent price and couldn’t pass it up.

img_2837After a few listens I’m comfortable in saying that I think it’s my favorite SURVIVE release. I love RR7439, but mnq026 feels a little darker; heaped up with the atmospheric haze and woozy soundscapes. There’s less beat-driven songs and more dreamy noises on this one. I’m pretty impressed with fact that they’ve been doing the whole heavy synth thing since 2009(though Slasher Film Festival Strategy has been rocking the synth game since 1998, son.) This album certainly sounds like three years worth of EPs and lots of basement jams with Junos and Moogs. mnq026 sounds like a group that’s found their sound and are relishing that fact.

I love an album that after a couple listens starts revealing hidden messages and layers. SURVIVE are a band that layer. With 4 dudes all playing synthesizers you can be sure there’s some heady layering going on. “Deserted Skies” opens the record with some of those dense layers. It plays like a film score. Some strange sci-fi flick, I’d imagine. Something from the mid-80s, I’d imagine. Seems to be this Austin crew’s modus operandi, and I’m good with that. Another major banger is “Floating Cube”. It sounds like a cross between Tangerine Dream and The Human League. If there were some female vocals hanging overhead this could’ve been a hit in 1984. Speaking of 1984, “Hourglass” is another time machine of a track and one of the few tracks with some serious Casio-leaning drum programming. It also puts me in mind of Brad Fiedel’s underappreciated score to Fright Night(the 1985 original, that is.) “Omniverse” keeps that vibe going nicely with a pulsating synth throughout. “Black Mollies” has a Rudiger Lorenz vibe, but more dark synth and less new age-y. It’s also an epic track that lingers on for over 6 minutes.

Elsewhere, “Scalar Wave” is ominous synth groaning. Much like RR7439′s “Low Fog”, this one feels like a trip through a black hole with your mind on fire with hallucinogens. “Shunting Yard” and “Dirge” end the album nicely, complete with existential motifs and analog beauty to fall into the abyss to.

img_2839I’m interested to see where these guys go from here. At the moment they’re still the current favorite flavor. Whether that remains the case for long remains to be seen. They’ll at least get a bit of momentum when Stranger Things 2 arrives next October, but I hope that’s not all they get. SURVIVE are a unique beast in the genre, as they seem to be able to find a nice balance between heady noise making and catchy melodies. There’s a real intellectual side to the music they create, yet even the novice can walk into the middle of a SURVIVE song and dig it.

mnq026 is one hell of a debut. It’s inspired some pondering, meandering, and some serious air synth. Yes, air synth is a real thing. Google it.

Peter Silberman : Impermanence

Peter Silberman has never been shy about laying his heart out for all to see on his albums with The Antlers. From Hospice to Burst Apart to Familiars his etheral vocals and dramatic musical arrangements show a musician not satisfied with the simple. Silberman wants to make his mark with each song. Scorched tales of loss, love, and getting on with life even when you don’t think that’s possible, these are the trademarks of a Peter Silberman record. On Silberman’s debut solo record, inspiration came from a different kind of loss: hearing loss.

A few years ago Silberman suffered from total temporary hearing loss in one ear and extreme sensitivity to everyday sounds. This led to Silberman leaving his home in Brooklyn to upstate New York where things were quieter. The hearing impairment led to painful tinnitus. He gradually regained hearing, as well as the desire to write music. He began composing songs on a nylon stringed guitar and whispering vocals to himself. The result of these toned down writing sessions are on Impermanence. It’ a six song collection of hushed tracks that sound like lullabies to pained ears and psyche. Gone are the big and blustery songs of Antlers past. Here, Silberman writes songs that seem to be soothing him back to health.

“Karuna” opens the album and seems to be the blueprint we follow throughout. It opens with quietly strummed electric guitar and Silberman’s mere whisper of a vocal and stays this way for the songs nearly 9 minute run. There’s simple percussion added to help accent a rhythm, but for the most part it’s Silberman and his guitar. “New York” continues this sparse orchestration with some tasteful keys thrown in. “Gone Beyond” spans through another contemplative 8 minutes and some change. It’s yet another fragile guitar and vocal number that has the feeling of Silberman reaching out and trying to find his footing after months of silence.

Elsewhere, “Maya” has an island feel complete with the sound of an ocean breeze in the background as Silberman plucks a ukulele and harmonizes nicely with himself. “Ahimsa” buzzes with amplifier noise as Silberman sings “Time is all we have”, giving way to a quieted desperation to make the most of what we are allotted on this earth. “Impermanence” hums with organ, piano, and guitar like something off of Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House. It’s also reminiscent of Antlers’ Hospice and that records beautifully somber tone.

Peter Silberman seems to have found his way back from the pain of sound and is once again rejoicing in the noise of melody and the refrains of musical joy. Impermanence is a subtle musical journey, but a most pleasant one.

Impermanence is out February 24th via Transgressive Records