Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Record Review: Defiance, Ohio - The Great Depression

‘The Great Depression,’ the second album from folk punks Defiance, Ohio is a progression, both in terms of musicianship, song writing aptitude, song composition and recording techniques for the band. While they might not have the refined grasp of the genre the likes of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb, Against Me! or the (Young) Pioneers possess, ‘The Great Depression’ is most certainly a commendable effort.

What differentiates ‘The Great Depression’ from their debut LP, ‘Share What Ya Got’ is the fact that it bears a greater resemblance to folk music than it does to punk rock. On ‘The Great Depression,’ Defiance, Ohio seem more willing to employ traditional instrumentation such as Violin, Cello, Harmonica and Banjo and place it more prominently in the mix. Perhaps this impression is amplified by the fact that ‘The Great Depression’ is afforded a far slicker production than their debut.

But there is no arguing that the song writing is more rounded here. With the nucleus of each song no longer being a guitar and voice, the songs are far more fleshed out. Each song ebbs and flows and each instrument is allowed a moment or two of prominence.

Like former label mates and fellow folks-punks, Ghost Mice, their music suffers from a certain degree of monotony. The few truly memorable moments on the record come when Sherri takes the vocal reins. Her voice is at times uncannily reminiscent of Kathleen from Discount. Her charming and tuneful intonation adds a subtlety and character to the music, especially compared to the coarse vocal chords of her band mates. Her lone chorus on ‘Oh, Susquehanna!’ not only has a superb harmony, but makes the song seem purposeful, as if it’s reaching a great crescendo.

Like all good punks, their lyrics are politically charged, as they rally against the evils of capitalism and all the other usual gripes. However, like all good folk music, their lyrics are often marked by a punch line. On ‘New World Order’ the lyrics “Well the plan is written in god’s hand so only Bush can read it / It calls for a battle in God’s name and it calls for Bush to lead it / The blue print calls to drill for oil and exterminate the land / And if you can’t hear God’s calling you’re probably from France” bring a wry smile to your face.

Three Thumbs Up

Make Up Your Own Mind
Oh, Susquehanna!


Blogger Eric said...

Bad ass site man! Love it. Where are the new posts?

10:04 AM  

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