· Twisted Roots trio Heevahava is set to release their latest CD, all ferhoodled, on Saturday. The band will play a free show at the Northside Tavern to celebrate. Gordy Horn is also on the bill.
About a year ago, the band traveled to Chicago to record all ferhoodled with legendary studio engineer Steve Albini. One listen and it's hard to imagine the band being recorded much differently, with Albini's trademark dryness bringing out the bluntness of the band's sound perfectly. Heevahava's slanted sound is a unique mixture of Country and Folk, dosed with a wild-eyed Post Punk flavor that adds power and punch to their dark, quirky concoction. Delivered in a howling, menacing twang, singer/guitarist Mark Perry's visceral, raw lyrics ramble like a street-corner prophet, without the distraction of total incoherency. Lines like "Some like blood/I like fire/Of course it's a metaphor, stupid" or "Clouds in the sky/Fearless dance above/Crickets chant to get high/I don't think it matters if it rhymes" suggest Perry scribbles ideas down on bar napkins, throws them in a bag and pulls them out randomly when writing songs. The music reflects the surrealism of the words, with Perry's spastic, idiosyncratic guitar, Josh Dorsey's ropey, trashy bass lines and Omar Herd's almost jazzy drum work combining to make a gloriously erratic and eerie sound that is lysergically engrossing and whole-heartedly original. If Andy Kaufman, Hank Williams, Salvador Dali, Pere Ubu and Howard Finster were in a bloody, Appalachian bar brawl, this is what their jail house jam session might sound like.
· Like a Cincinnati version of Everything But The Girl, local duo entheos combines a folksy song base with electronic additives to come up with an airy, beat-driven sound that they refer to as "Dream Pop." Consisting of the brother/sister team of Carl Shepard (vocals, guitars, bass and electronic programming) and Alison Shepard (vocals, keyboards, percussion), entheos release their self-titled debut album Saturday in conjunction with a show at the York Street Café in Newport with special guests Ashley Peacock, Joanie Whittaker and Philosopher's Stone.
The electronic augmentation on the disc is, like much of the recording, sparse and minimal, as they rely mainly on acoustic guitar and the pair's strong dual vocal approach (which results in some really impressive harmony work). Carl Shepherd is a great guitarist, and his fluttering acoustic playing guides much of the disc, while the emotive songwriting is solid, particularly on the dynamic centerpiece "Mecca." Despite the excellent performances and writing, the disc feels a little too light and empty at times, depending largely on the absorbing melodic swell to fill up the space. It sounds like the duo is going for a spacious, ethereal sound, which can be highly potent when it works. But, ultimately, entheos' debut sounds too skeletal and demo-like to be wholly effective. The twosome report that they have developed more of a Trip Hop sound recently, with this recording being more representative of their acoustic roots. It's a nod in the right direction for this promising pair, who have the potential to be much more than this disc would indicate.
Local News and Notes
· The locally-produced Chicks Rockfest — an annual festival show featuring femme-heavy bands — is going national. Starting Thursday, the ambitious "Chicks On the Road" tour launches, featuring 43 acts in 20 cities over the course of three days. The road adventure is made up of seven mini-tours that span from New York City to Los Angeles. Cincinnati area groups The Whitney Barricklow Band and Crankbox will be a part of the tour that kicks off Thursday at the York Street Café and moves on to Nashville and Atlanta on Friday and Saturday, respectively (several Atlanta and Nashville artists will be on all three dates as well). (chicksontheroad.com)
· Newcomers Non-Prophet make their debut appearance on Saturday at the Mad Frog with Dr. Jones. Though not a Jam band, Non-Prophet consists of former members of the late local Jam faves Four Ohms plus Adam Wolf from the Black and Tan Carpet Band. The band also has a show scheduled on Nov. 13 at the Barrelhouse with Name and a Nation. (non-prophet.com)
· The Virgins will be the local music entertainment for a spoken word/music event at Crush in Downtown this Friday. The show features local poets like Michael Crossley, Mark Flanigan and Doug Saretsky, as well as out of town groups The Smacks (Lexington) and The Ology (St. Louis Hip Hop).