Thursday, September 1, 2011

Locus Solus - Waverly (1994, Grass)

During their '90s tenure, the Grass Records label inexplicably scooped up a couple dozen WTF no-name bands, almost all of whom were unseasoned and had no prior track record to speak of.  It was a fun and occasionally freakish experiment for onlookers like myself, and though a few signees panned out marvelously (The Marshes, Twitch, Half Hour to Go) there were all-out duds many times over, both in terms of sales and artistic merit.  So where do Locus Solus register on the scale?  In the middle more or less, but had Grass' quality control been on par with the caliber of say, Merge or Touch and Go, my ranking of them might not be as generous.  In reference to Grass Record's early motto, Locus Solus "will grow on ya," but only after many successive and concerted listens.   Presumably hailing from Nashville (not a lick of biographical info to be found, at least on the web) this trio specialized in spare, nimble arrangements with lots of tingly guitar arpeggios and hushed vocals.  At best, the band's sonic aptitude and technique stretches into Thurston/Ranaldo terrain, but even with a reasonable semblance of dynamics in place, Solus' songs tend to ring far too anticlimactic, and even worse, innocuous.  Were Waverly not so sleepy and polite (but to the band's credit, defiantly indie) I would have been heralding this record years ago, instead of regarding it as just a mildy worthwhile curiosity.

01. MM
02. Tangled
03. Talking to Bees
04. Archipelago
05. Hinged in Stillness
06. Nepenthe
07. Habanero
08. Cower
09. Oughts Should Shine

1 comment:

Andy G said...

don't forget maybe Grass' best signing - The Wrens.