Artist: Abe Vigoda
Comments: Recently, there has been a refreshing breeze of new, more creative music entering into the indie scene, reestablishing needed cred. "Smell" scene veterans Abe Vigoda (no, not that actor seen parodied on Late Night with Conan O’brien), is one such band, tackling the musical world with their third full-length release Skeleton.
With all my positive reviews about L.A. bands, it must seem like I'm some kind of "Smell" scene fan-girl. In a way I am, but when music this good keeps surfacing, it's easy to ignore what scene or club it originated in. Forget the scene, this is just good music.
Skeleton combines spunky 80’s music with the swagger of the Strokes and the radical surf style of the Ventures (See: the surf-tacular song “Wipeout”) for a pretty rad collective sound. Songs are short, packing a lot of ideas and noise into a quick run time, making it good for those who enjoy quick listens and like to dismiss the ideal of the four minute pop song.
The first track, “Dead City/ Waste Wilderness.” is a perfect introduction. After a brief second of silence, a gate of sound opens up, as if the song is being played on the beach with live electric equipment and crashing waves. That’s how it is throughout the entire recording.
The beginning of “Cranes” sounds like a blast from a time where surf music was more appreciated, and then in a quick stop and go motion all instruments come together weaving in and out of each other, bringing the 60’s back to the millennium. One thing to note is the obvious presence of repetition. It’s an OK effect but it does get old, hearing the instrumental pallet being recycled and all. At points in the album, however, this redundant technique does give Skeleton more of a dance-y feel, which can definitely be appreciated.
“Lantern Lights” is just plain neat. As I mentioned before, it feels like this entire album is being recorded on a beach, well this is no exception. If you listen closely you can even hear the waves (AKA spaced- out cymbal crashes) in the background of “Lantern Lights.”
There is no subtlety surrounding the album. Abe Vigoda’s natural eagerness is easily traceable and is the trademark of the band. “World Heart” in my mind, has the most sustenance to offer. Everything about it flows and no drum fills are necessary to make the body of the song. Each instrument plays its own part in the song, creative a colorful tropical portrait of music.
By the end of Skeleton, a delightfully sleepy buzz lingers, putting the album to a rest, allowing Abe Vigoda to come out victorious with the knowledge they have a pretty solid album. Skeleton can endlessly lurk in the brain for hours, so beware before you listen to this classy, soon-to-be indie gem…it’s kinda catchy and just plain good.
- Erin Mae Szarinkowski
Score: 7.5 out of 10
Sweet Tracks: Bear Face, World Heart
Buy, Skip, Steal: Buy