Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Radiator Reviews: Ipomoea - Species

Ipomoea (/ˌɪpɵˈmiːə/) is a fuzzfolk duo consisting of the consistently legendary drummer/singer/guitarist Thom "moon" Lopes as well as obvious J Mascis fan and lead guitarist Mike "Mick" Williams. Both former full time members of Dandy Zander, a band which recently tore through massachussetts venues and, seemingly had enough, went into hibernation. On Species, Thom Lopes takes a look back at his own body of work, giving a fresh new interpretation to several previously recorded songs such as the tormented dirge "Eastern Stars" being re-realized as audible space exploration. "Figure Ate", once completely acoustic (much like eastern stars) gets ipo-ized as well. The album has a very consistent and interesting sound. The drums sound small and far away, the bass is non existent and the mids are full and alive with plenty of rhythmic delay patterns and enough reverb to nuke a whale (sorry, couldn't think of a good metaphor). Its a very light and crispy sort of record, the clear benefit being that it is not tiresome to listen to, yet retains the intensity of a live show.

At times the inspiration feels specific, like an influential character ("Many Mansions"), a location ("Haymarket") or a past experience ("Ought Damn"). At other times the feeling is abstract, something so mundane it is overlooked, such as a cat running out of a house ("Cat Whisker"). "One minute you're running down the street with your dog, the next minute you're lifting off the ground," describes Lopes, he continues "Songs are fleeting. Flowers are like that, too. What causes a daisy to push through the cracks of a sidewalk? I don't know." I don't know either. But we might as well examine it. There is no limit to what the universe can teach us both inward and outwards, it just keeps going. Process and context aside, Species stands comfortably on two legs of songwriting and compositional merit, as for worlds shifting in to new worlds, ill let you decide. 8.9

Ipoa Moea - Many Mansions

reviewed by Mohamed El-Darwish RADIATOR COLLECTIVE 2012

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