The Incurables | Songs For A Blackout (S/R)

cd_incurables.jpgEach track on Songs For A Blackout weaves together its own story while showcasing a talented and revolving crew of musicians on a smooth and lush recording.

 

 

 

 

To delve into the rich musical history of singer/songwriter/guitarist Jimmy Griffin would only detract attention from his latest musical incarnation: The Incurables. It’s an all-star collaboration of veteran St. Louis rock musicians led by Griffin—each you’d probably recognize if you’ve followed the STL scene over the past decade. (Jordan Heimburger, Bryan Hoskins, Jason Hutto, and Jason McEntire, to name a few.)

The band describes their sound as “The wee hours of a Saturday night colliding with Sunday morning.” They’re right. Songs For A Blackout really does sound like it was written and recorded at 3 a.m. on a Saturday night. The music rarely moves past a mid-tempo point, which creates a relaxed and introspective mood. The sound is a collection of textured guitars, slow and melodic licks, steady fills, a few piano parts and lyrics that tell stories inspired from personal experiences of the heart and what sounds like drifty, dream-like thoughts that come from late nights staring at the ceiling. 

Griffin’s cool and calm vocal style gives each song an honest declaration worth listening to. Some memorable excerpts include: “All the missing milk box children / holding hands and rolling down / the cotton candy dunes.” “I wanna tell you a story / about how I got here / Noose around my neck / tied to the chandelier.”

The opening track “Lucky 7’s” (one of my favorites) sets the mood with a story about escaping together to “somewhere down the highway where the headlights twist and burn into the night.” The next few songs stay close to the mid-tempo/love-song theme, hitting a breaking point at “Hotel Nowhere.” It’s a slow piano driven ballad that begs to be played during a moment of reflection in a TV drama or movie.

The two most upbeat songs follow with “Contrition Blues” and “Gravedance,” (co-written by Jason Hutto) giving the album flow a timely jolt.
Songs For A Blackout finishes with three expansive numbers. The last track, “The Last Day of the Rest Of Your Life,”  begins “Ladies and gentlemen this is your countdown / informing you all that we’re crashing,” lyrics which set the listener up for a grand finish. What’s unique about the recording is how the band features two drummers, sometimes playing at the same time—Joe Meyer on the left channel, John Pessoni on the right. On the last song they’re in the spotlight as the song trails off with the drummers trading large fills for two minutes.

Each track on Songs For A Blackout weaves together its own story while showcasing a talented and revolving crew of musicians on a smooth and lush recording. It’s an album best enjoyed late at night, early in the morning, on a long road trip, or any time you feel like finding a moment to take a breath, put your feet up and give the ceiling a good stare.  A | Eammon Azizi

RIYL – Tom Petty, Sparklehorse, Jellyfish

 

Online: www.myspace.com/theincurables

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