02 December 2008

MySpace Rundown: Montana Skies

Montana Skies is maybe part of indie music rediscovering stringed instruments other than the guitar, or maybe a sign that this rediscovery is waning. They have a nice sense of structure--a similar feel for the architecture of string music as, say, Calexico--but end up somehow more genre-bound, in a schizophrenic sort of way.

They often come close to sounding promising: Canyon Breeze has a simple and almost compelling base line, but remains placidly in the easy listening category; Another Brick in the Wall starts out with drive and energy but loses momentum before it ends. Eventually, though, each song seems to fit into the dreamy-sweeping category, or the folksy-bouncing category, with not much in between.

I get the idea that they would put on a lovely, engaging live show; but somehow there's no real reason to listen to their recorded music instead of other, less binary fare. With a little more contrast, a little more harshness or nuance, and a little less sweep, they could be much more compelling.

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Earworm: "Wild Horses" by The Sundays

First, I would just like to say that I am now Dr.Queen of Sheba. Thank you.

This one goes in the category of unexpectedly lovely covers--who would've agreed that The Sundays would do beautiful justice to a Rolling Stones song? It's like agreeing that it would be good to make a movie out of a Disney ride, or to put Keanu Reeves in a dystopian cyberpunk epic; it seems a terribly improbable proposal. But I think maybe being The Rolling Stones distracted the actual Rolling Stones from making Wild Horses as it wanted to be. Nothing else in The Sundays' repertoire quite seems to measure up--their other songs are lovely but insubstantial; but achieving aesthetic rightness is nothing to sneeze at, even once.
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