Each It And I


Sew Knee Wreckards (Independent Release), 1997

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Last week, I was fortunate enough to see Deep Purple in concert. While waiting outside the will-call window for my backstage passes with a few other members of the media, a young man walked up to our group and started talking to us. Michael Howard was his name, and he just so happened to be in a band who had a demo out. Sure, I said, I'll review your band. Just send me your demo... and - bang! - he pulled out a CD from his waist pouch, the charmingly named Each It And I. (Say it fast, and you'll get the hidden meaning.)

Snothead's music has been compared by some to the psychedelic days of Pink Floyd, and it has been suggested that the best way to listen to some of this music is to get really stoned and slap on the headphones. Not being into drugs myself (hell, I've even given up caffiene, which was easier than I thought it would be), all I had available to me were headphones... and I'm starting to believe that being high is a benefit for some of the music on this disc. It's most definitely experimental, some of which work... and some of which fail.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Of the eight songs on this disc, only half are cuts with any real vocals. The title track, a tirade against censorship, would have made the late Frank Zappa proud, and could well be the strongest song on the disc. (Howard also strikes out against Wal-Mart, encouraging people not to shop there because they won't sell albums with the dreaded "Parental Advisory" sticker. I just don't like shopping there because the fuckin' parking lots are a three-ring circus, but that's my own bias.)

What strikes me as odd about Each It And I is that there is a strong undercurrent of anger and violence in the music - something I wouldn't have expected from an environmental activist. Tracks like "If I Only Had A Gun" are more controlled, while "Relax" spews venom with a vocal line delivered like Captain Beefheart in a spoken-word style. The more I listened to these tracks, the better they got, but it did take some time and patience to let them develop.

The three "experiments" are the ones that need some work. "Blip" lives up to its name, a short sound bite that sounds like tape being slowed down and sped up. But, it's so short that it's not worth really complaining about. The same can't be said for "Modulations: Sinister/Devine", a two-and-a-half-minute pastiche of noise that sounds like Howard was playing with a digital delay pedal. It's incredibly annoying, sounding like he was experimenting with a new toy to see what it could do with vocals. There are times that such experiments are best left in the vaults or on the cutting room floor.

The centerpiece of Each It And I is "Charlotte's Web Site," a song that Howard insisted I listen to with headphones. It's indeed bizarre, and some of the experiments on this one work better than on the previously mentioned tracks, but it's still nothing to really write home about. I will give Howard credit, in that this 10-minute track didn't seem to last nearly half as long. I've always said, if a long song seems like it's short, that's a good portion of the battle. What he needs to do now is to put some more substance into such pieces, instead of indulging in weirdness for weirdness's sake.

Each It And I is the first effort of a band in progress. With a little more work (and a little less reliance on gimmicks like feedback and delay-rich songs and declarations of being so psychedelic), Snothead could well be an electronic-based band to watch in the near future. Each It And I offers slight glimpses of that, but also shows that Howard and crew have a lot of work to do.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sew Knee Wreckards (Independent Release), and is used for informational purposes only.