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Solvents

Forgive Yr Blood

(Bee Resin Records; US: 21 Dec 2010; UK: Import)

A lo-fi masterpiece

Based in the tiny coastal town of Port Townsend, Washington, Solvents offer up a compelling mix of acoustic and electric tunes on the self-released debut, Forgive Yr Blood. Built around the vocals and guitar of Jarrod Bramson, filled out with Sascha Landis on drums and Emily Madden’s expressive violin, Solvents take the listener through a varied musical journey. Lo-fi production adds ambience to Bramson’s urgent delivery on songs like “Forgive Yr Blood” and “Empty Vessel Blues”, while unexpected bursts of distortion enliven “Soft Reminders” and “We Were Guests Here”. Through it all, Bramson reveals a strong sense of melody, making the best use of his rough-hewn, often distorted voice and the band’s chosen sonic palette, which is substantive but never flashy. By the time you reach album closer “The Coastal Plain”, with its rumbling drums, siren-wail guitar, and mumbled vocals, you realize you’ve just sat through a record made by a hell of a band. Forgive Yr Blood is anti-arena-rock made perfect. It’s a small-scale, lo-fi masterpiece.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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Solvents - "We Were Guests"
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