Take Me to the Sea
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|Official Release Date||Aug 19, 2008|
- Manufacturer: Matador--Ada-- ( OLE )
track listing1. Highways of Gold2. Bats Over the Pacific Ocean3. Jaguar Pirates4. Georgia5. Vagabond Ballroom6. Humans Evolve Into Skyscrapers7. Antoine and Birdskull8. Bone Trees and a Broken Heart9. The Man with the Plastic Suns10. My Organ Sounds Like
descriptionPhoenixing from the ashes of the Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves, Johnny Whitney, Jay Clark, and Cody Votolato reinvent themselves as something completely new. While the Blood Brothers were straight up hardcore screamo and Pretty Girls were spiraling indie rock, Jaguar Love's tastes are broader and harder to define. There are the theatrics and bombast of glam (think Sweet), the circular meandering and aggression of post-rock (Mars Volta), the danceable rock of post-punk revival (Hot Hot Heat), and the fuzzed heaviness of alt metal (Wolfmother), combined with the classic arrangements of show tunes, doo wop, and waltzes. The musicianship is mature -- a jangly, shifting cornucopia of guitar, bass, organs, and drums -- but it is practically ignorable behind the caterwauling wail of Johnny Whitney, which takes precedence over all. His is the type of voice that's hard to be indifferent about. Either you love it, or it's nails on chalkboard, forcing sharp-eared dogs and small children to cry out in pain. Easily mistakable for a woman, his range varies between the high pitch of Belinda Carlisle and the higher pitch of Kate Bush and forgoes the shriek that he emitted in his prior band for a helium-fueled croon. In the Blood Brothers, his voice was just another piece of the wacky puzzle, but in the context of songs with more standard arrangements, it stands out and glares brightly. Given time, the audaciousness actually gives way to reveal an accomplished singer with great control and a surrealistic way with wordplay. "So I flew to Australia on a flamingo's back/The Pacific Ocean was dreaming of angels with the wings of a bat" is reported amidst the dance-funk grind of "Jaguar Pirates," and druggy imagery is draped all over the rock box drum machine beats and guitar chunks of "Humans Evolve Into Skyscrapers" as he explains that ("Your fingers turn to tongues as my pregnant wife gives birth to a mushroom cloud shaped killer bee swarm.") It's all super indulgent and slightly campy, but it's also highly enjoyable, infectious, and instantly distinctive, with the brazen show tune "Georgia" demanding repeated listens and packing enough sentiment to encourage an audience full of indie hipsters to spark their cigarette lighters
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