With the plummeting cost of recording, manufacturing and releasing your own compact discs, the sheer volume of music that is being released grows at exponential rates. There is a lot of great stuff out there. You just have to search longer for it. A select few releases rise to the top because of professional songwriting, production and performances. This band, named after a certain horned-rimmed-glasses-wearin’, Mensa-card-totin’, seductive sibling of a certain man with a rumpled look and a famous brain, embodies the word pro on Humblecreatures. The songs are smart, sharp, focused, expansive and work on many levels, probably a lot like the thought process of the entire Einstein family.
From the first track, “Dandelion Heart”, Bill Douglas’ vocals soar with a full vibrato very reminiscent of the vocals on the great Squeeze records. Vibrato is dangerous because it can sound downright schmaltzy if the voice doesn’t cut it, not the case here. Every song has a great vocal performance. The simple acoustic track, “Something True”, showcases Bill’s voice. The track “Mermaid Parade” is typical of this recording: the drums kick in, marching in metronome perfect time, maintaining feel without becoming robotic. The rythym tracks (bass and drums) are a highlight all over this. I am a sucker for a rythym section with perfect time. Set your watch to these guys.
Fans of Difford and Tillbrook, Elvis Costello (listen to “Never Can Tell”), XTC, and any bands that have mastered the three minute pop format will like this. Not enough bands who release CDs have the skills, patience and good taste to spend the time necessary to release something on their own that is done to such high standards. Many indie bands could learn by following Einstein’s Sister’s example. Hard work and time was spent on Humblecreatures. The key is always in the details without letting it shackle you creatively: that was a major tenet of Einstein’s thought process, and it works well for these guys.
Did Einstein even have a sister? If you did, can’t you see those glasses? Man, those brainy, geeky intellectual girls are the only ones for me. You always want your partner smarter so that you can rise to their level. Bring yourself up to that level by visiting http://www.einsteinssister.com.
// Notes from the Road
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