Phone Thou - HOUNDSds
(2012 Chill Mega Chill Records)
While Phone Thou may be the title for HOUNDSds' latest masterwork The Shoegaze Manifesto may be a more apt name, summing up over thirty years of The Scene That Celebrates Itself. Like many Brooklynite artists, HOUNDSds is a solo project (started by Patrick McIntyre) that embraces a lo-fi mentality lost in a sea of reverb and keyboards, Phone Thou being the epitome of this sound.
"The Sleeping King" is a great first impression, with tumultuous harmonies weaving through skyward synths creating a sound that seems lifted from Modern English's bag of tricks. Something about this song, although it may just be the vocals, reminds me of "Alison" by Slowdive. Not bad, considering that may be the best song of the 90s. Keyboards really drive tunes like "Anarchists in Love" and "By the Time I Get to Kalamazoo," not taking their dreaminess for granted.
The bass heavy "Evening" is an instrumental track that still can retain my interest, combining cowboy like guitars and new age-y soundscapes. It covers more musical ground in three-and-a-half minutes than most bands cover in entire albums, ending with a dreamy flourish. "Poets Mistaken for Thieves" is the must have track, gracefully thundering along with more shimmer effects than even Wild Nothing could boast. If any tune from this album gets stuck in your head, it's gonna be this one. "We Gotta Wait" starts off slowly, but reaches amazing crescendos, a track not to be missed.
Although it's early, I'm going to be bold here and make Phone Thou my candidate for album of the year. In a world where throwback bands and reverb-mongers like Real Estate and Beach Fossils rule, HOUNDSds deserves to be popular if not legendary. Best of all, you can name your price for this album! Just click Buy Now and type in the price you'd like to donate.
I added an "Albums of the Year" Widget to the homepage. This is going to be purely based on the scores I give reviews.