Smartly using Jonathan’s synthesizer in place of a third guitar, Settlefish adds a different element to the chaotic soundscape that marks the compositions on dance a while, upset as paradoxical, intentionally human even through completely electronic instruments. Keeping along with the focus on the keyboards, Jonathan makes it the most versatile part of the band; the beat of “On Symmetry Pebbles” pokes a hole into one’s soul with each beat, only to disappear at points with distortion that eventually wins over all instruments. “Camouflage Iris” does as much for At the Drive-In style spoken vocals as An Albatross has done for the Anal Cunt-style of song topic, in that both have infused a seemingly overused style with a new-found melody, and by doing that, they have revolutionized a trite style of music. A great deal of Settlefish’s allure is how they take a popular style of music and go onto a completely different path than it has been used, specifically in “The Beauty that Corrodes” and “Breeze”. In “The Beauty that Corrodes”, the late eighties-early nineties style of grunge-rock that both Nirvana and Wish-era Cure used is modified into a sedate opening to the song, and in “Breeze”, the bouncy pop-punk vocals a la Saves the Day and Yellowcard is put alongside swirly guitars and deadpan synthesizer to add another dimension to one of the most popular styles of vocal delivery – just on the first song!
Highlight of CD : Breeze
Rating : 7.3/10
Settlefish – dance a while, upset / 2003 Deep Elm Records / 10 Songs / http://www.settlefish.com / http://www.deepelm.com