Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The hills of Kentucky...

Dickie Haydon - Hunger Pangs EP review

To look at Dickie Haydon, with his shaggy hair and pointy-toed boots, you might think he would be writing songs that sounded more like Bishop Allen or Rogue Wave than oh, say… Willie Nelson, but you would be mistaken. Having lived in Lexington since he was 4, Haydon considers himself a bona-fide Kentuckian and has always been quick to cite the Bluegrass as being one of his greatest inspirations.

Haydon is also the primary songwriter in band Petticoat, Petticoat, which also includes Kristin Messina and Jackson Silvanik. While the music of P,P and Haydon’s solo fare are unquestionably the product of the same mind, it’s easy to see why they are two separate projects for the man. The songs on Haydon’s debut solo EP, Hunger Pangs, range from the exceptionally personal (“Tabitha,” an ode to Haydon’s beloved doggie that recently passed away) to those storytelling songs that invoke images of times long ago.

It’s the intimacy of these songs that ultimately make them so alluring; Haydon is first and foremost a writer, a poet even. The words and the cadence with which he sings them are what catches the listener’s ear and makes them long to listen again. Every one of Hunger Pangs’ six songs has a beautiful nostalgic air about it, and no one can resist a bit of heartwarming wistfulness.

Fetch a copy of Hunger Pangs, with artwork by Kristin Messina, at CD Central or directly from the artist.

1. Little Red Canteen
2. Miles
3. The Girl With Leather Teeth
4. Tabitha
5. Do You Truly Believe In Us??
6. No One Will Know My Name

Check out Dickie's myspace page for 5/6 songs from the EP and, while you're at it, check out
Petticoat, Petticoat's page as well.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It'll blow your mind away.

Noisycrane - Portmanteau album review

Noisycrane has evolved a lot over the past year; it started as the solo endeavor of lead singer/guitarist Cody Swanson, but soon grew with the accretion of Sean Rose on drums and Jon-Austin Tharpe on bass. In the early days of the band, with Swanson and Rose performing as a duet, they sweated post-punk rawness, but with additions to the band and the natural evolution of their combined songwriting, it has become clear that where there has always been depth, there is also a degree of inherent sophistication as well. The band’s self-recorded and produced debut album, Portmanteau, is proof of that.

“Carnival,” the album’s shortest and only instrumental track, features accordions, xylophones, and saws all singing together, embracing just the right amount of whimsy and mischief. “123” is a prime example of a band at their best; the music and vocals compliment one another perfectly and the d.i.y. production seems to lend itself perfectly to the tone of this specific song. Throughout the ten tracks on Portmanteau, Noisycrane has illustrated that music doesn’t have to be insufferable to be interesting! Far from it, in fact.

Portmanteau is for sale at CD Central and at

1. Trust The Moon
2. I'm Walking Through The Room And You're Asleep
3. Carnival
4. Hold Out Love
5. Room Alone
6. Your Shape
7. Walking And Stalking
8. 123
9. You Are Royalty
10. Smooth And Calm

Check the band's myspace page for musical samples.