The sound is “Grapes of Wrath”-America at its best , and to elicit “Missouri” in the album title and to live in Iowa really cinches it. The light strumming of the guitar that presents itself through the vast majority of the track, coupled with Dave’ distorted (almost as if they were coming from an old album) vocals on tracks like “Ophelia” really brings listens back to an earlier time.
The interesting thing about “Ophelia” that even with its organic and looking-back sound, Dave really incorporates other genres that are not typically thought of when one listens to the music. “Opheliua” uses Cokldplay-like dream-pop and mixes it with an equal part of girl group-Motown type of sound for something that is eminently listenable and fun. The tracks do gain a little in speed and move away from the constrictive sound of “Houdini” and “Ophelia”. “When Pirates Come To Port” is a shuffling, shambling track that incorporates a xylophone-like sound to contend with the drums, vocals, and guitar on the track. What results is a bombastic, loud and catchy track that really works nicely with its follow-up “You and a Dog”. While “You and a Dog” is more bi-polar in its sound (meaning that there is a large space between the sedate sound of the stanza and the loudness found in the chorus).
The differing time signature on the track really should amaze listeners considering that this was done in two weeks; mixing strung (and drugged out) rock with tribal rhythms during the track may just be the height of Paleo’s output. “You and a Dog” is an interesting track also for the fact that the tempo (and even general sound) at points really sounds like The Doors’ “People Are Strange”. “Occam’s Razor” moves almost completely away from the American-folik style and into the previously mentioned sixties rock (The Doors). Guitar lines at points seem to draw more from twenties jazz bass lines, while the degradation into chaos is the musical equivalent to the latter part of coitus. Everything goes quicker and any semblance of time is lost, and just as quickly as it begins, everything stops.
Top Tracks: Mournful Black Uneasy Bird, You and a Dog
Paleo – Misery, Missouri / 2005 Self / 14 Tracks / http://www.paleo.ws / Reviewed 20 September 2005