The opening to â€œFriezeâ€ starts off slowly with what sounds like a movie quote opening up â€œDeep Friezeâ€. However, it is the poppy style of indie rock that Letcher plays that immediately saves this album. There are more than passing comparisons to individuals like Matthew Sweet on â€œDeep Friezeâ€, and while the Avalanches meets Kid Koala-like scratching present during the track is an interesting addition, listeners can easily understand the indie tradition that Letcher is coming from. The thing that establishes Letcher as someone to pay attention to has to be the arrangements that end â€œDeep Friezeâ€. These arrangements speed up, slow down, and generally add delightful chaos to an already guilty pleasure. By the end of â€œDeep Friezeâ€, Letcher is in a good position.
â€œBad Shepherdâ€ is the second track on â€œFriezeâ€, and despite the fact that it pushes the six minute mark, there is enough new material present to go and really keep individuals interested and wanting more from Letcher. The best thing about Letcher has to be the ability to have a slower sound, like â€œBad Shepherdâ€, and turn it into an experiment where ey molds listenersâ€™ emotions like clay for the greater part of five minutes. The Radiohead influence is heavy during the instrumental arrangements of â€œBad Shepherdâ€, putting it at odds with the vocal distortion and inflection of Letcher, which draws instead on Pink Floyd. While it always seemed to me that many of the albums that were originally pressed on vinyl were constrained by the media itself, I realized that it was the pinnacle of the recorded art form. Specifically, artists working in the vinyl medium understood that the album lingers just long enough at the forty-fifty minute mark, and going longer than that is just inviting trouble.
However, each track that is present on â€œFriezeâ€ provides something different to Letcher, and provides listeners with a full idea of what influences and inspires Letcher. The morose sound present during a number of tracks during â€œFriezeâ€ is the glue that holds the disc together; a song like â€œSketchâ€ brings the slow, sad step by step of â€œBad Shepherdâ€ and adds a little bit of horns into the mix. This gives the song a completely different flow than â€œBad Shepherdâ€, while installing Letcher further into the sad-panda-rock genre. Adding a Wendy Carlos-like synthesizer as a bridge to â€œSketchâ€ just locks up the track as being the pinnacle of Letcherâ€™s â€œFriezeâ€. Pick it up.
Top Tracks: Bird Caught Fire, Lopsided