Monday, October 5, 2009

Grandma's House Review (A good one this time)

Here is a review of our album from the September printed issue of Eleven Magazine.

"In the thriving genre of experimental indie rock, either you get it or you don’t. There is a prodigious fault line: when done well, it can lead the listener down the post-modern rabbit hole into the depths of meta-consciousness. When unsuccessful, it is jarring, clumsy noise. Fortunately for St. Louis (and the world), Exercise gets it, and they’ve finally polished up an album for us to chew on. Grandma’s House is a promising debut, especially when you listen with your eyes closed (so as to better visualize the rabbit hole.
Their years under the moniker Berlin Whale (known and beloved in St. Louis 2005-2008) brings creative cohesion to the trio’s recordings. They’ve moved away from Berlin Whale’s dance-pop roots into a more serious, acousmatic sound, exemplified by the song “Tail Feather,” which best pairs Trevor Berkholtz’s eerie tape tracks with Bo Bulawsky’s jangly guitar.
Justin Hickey’s drumming stands out on “Claustrophobe” and “Panama.” His versatile command of the kit gives structure to the band’s scattered, ambient sound. The album’s remarkable accessibility is highlighted by simple lyrics draped over each track. The uncluttered physical imagery on songs like “Robot” (do you know/you’re just skin and bones) provide balance to the density of Exercise’s many layers. The album is bookended by stripped down, reflective songs that slow down enough to allow a bit of layer dissection – a sort of preparation, then detox from their intense, studious sound.
Overall, it is evident that Exericse are up to the hard task of creating concentrated, quality music. They might benefit from reading a little more Pynchon, but Exercise is well on their way."
- Nelda Kerr

1 comment:

  1. Fun write up, this is spot on. It's also good to see Justin get a well deserved shout out as well.