Music | Local CD Revue: Michael Gross & VCR5 | Music | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Music | Local CD Revue: Michael Gross & VCR5 

Pin It
Favorite
click to enlarge art1803widea.jpg

click to enlarge musiccdreviews_080403_m_17a.jpg
Michael Gross
Tales From a Country Home
click to enlarge 3-5_stars.gif

As a former member of the Brobecks and current member of similarly poppy Let’s Become Actors, it’s easy to believe that Michael Gross knows a scientific formula for catchy pop melodies—but you don’t have to be a scientician for all the songs from Tales from a Country Home to burrow themselves deep into your brain. Album opener “The End” establishes a somber mood by throwing quiet bass over an earnest drum beat, building throughout to become a dreamy pop explosion with hints of alt-country. Songs like “Something Out of Nothing” could easily have become sappy Guitar-Guy-at-college-party fare, but Gross throws in enough piano and whammy-bar solos to keep us starry-eyed with admiration. Although it’d be tempting to blow his load in sheer pop indulgence, Tales shows some uncanny restraint in the album’s highlight, “Novacain,” which feels like Gross pulled a rock anthem through a pasta strainer, stripping it of all cheesiness and catharsis. The final track “I’ve Got a Feeling,” showcases his songwriting at its finest/most vulnerable; a simple lo-fi guitar suddenly becomes tentative over an ominous string section. It’s the perfect emotional anchor to an otherwise-whimsical album.
MySpace.com/MichaelGrossMusic

click to enlarge musiccdreviews_080403_vcr5.jpg
VCR5 The Best of Fusoya
click to enlarge 3_stars.gif

VCR5 (or VCR Quintet, named for the multi-VCR/drum machine console that Joey Greathouse uses to create music) once risked being dismissed as a novelty act. Even though seeing Greathouse perform live is always a spectacle, the music on last year’s I Hate Myself felt unfinished and uncontrolled. It seemed that because Greathouse could make songs from video equipment, he should … and a lot of it, which resulted in Greathouse sounding like he was being played by his machines. That said, VCR5 are better. A lot better. I can only imagine how hard it is to work numerous archaic analog machines simultaneously, which makes VCR5’s stranglehold on their sounds that much more impressive. Fusoya’s opener “Life2” is an audio assault of double bass and glitched symphonies until it devolves into a (dare I say it?) beautiful piece of atmospherics. “Charm” is a mini-industrial epic with many movements that comes close to … club danceable (!). Although there are some moments that seem unintentional (those drum machines are hard to wrangle) they are few and far between.
MySpace.com/VCR5

Pin It
Favorite

Tags:

About The Author

Ryan Bradford

More by Ryan Bradford

  • Guilty Treasures

    Gather up a decade of the best/worst music in one convenient track list.
    • Nov 18, 2009
  • CD Review: Dark Was the Night

    The album's other acts include The Books [fronted by Jose Gonzalez], Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, My Brightest Diamond, Kronos Quartet, The Decemberists, Iron and Wine, Grizzly Bear, Spoon, Arcade Fire, Beirut, My Morning Jacket, Dave Sitek, Buck 65, The New Pornographers, Yo La Tengo, and others.
    • Feb 26, 2009
  • Music | Grade A: The Meat Puppets stay relevant.

    "I want to come off as pathetic, grasping yet gratified on every level. That’s the kind person I want to come across as.” nFor all intents and purposes, bassist Cris Kirkwood’s parting words over a telephone conversation should be taken with a heavy heart, seeing how his band The Meat Puppets are the reason shows like Behind the Music exist. Back in the ’80s, the semin...
    • Jan 21, 2009
  • More »

Latest in Music

  • Too High to Die

    Youthful indiscretion leads to a lifelong obsession with the Meat Puppets.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • High Strangeness

    Corresponding with the Mothership.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • Hear the Trees

    Quiet Oaks outgrows their past with Pretty Alright.
    • Mar 15, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

‚Äč

Readers also liked…

© 2017 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation