A horrible hack

Self Defense Family


Year Released: 2014
Format: 12" EP
Label: Iron Pier
Reviewed by MH on Sep 23, 2014
Another Self Defense Family release - not easy to keep up with. This one has been talked about for a while now and features 5 songs where Patrick Kindlon shares vocals with Caroline Corrigan who sings in alt country band Jake Moon and has featured on a number of Self Defense Family releases, most notably, the "You Are Beneath Her" 7inch. I saw her singing with SDF in Kingston on a UK tour a few years back and her voice is well suited to the SDF songs she has sung on previously. This is something of new ground for SDF as these tracks fall a bit further away from the sound on their most recent records. You'd barely recognise Kindlon's vocals at times as he is more understated here and actually sings (or near enough anyway) on some of these tracks. It's far less of a bark although he does revert to that at times on one or two of the five tracks here. Opener "The Way Out Is Back" is slow and brooding with fingerpicked guitar lines laced throughout the track. Kindlon's subdued vocal style here contrasts nicely with Corrigan's more orthodox singing - and sing she can. The guitar sound on "Been Passed On" is another slow-burner and deals in repetition with the line "They don't miss you for long" repeated numerous times. This song is exceptional. "Incoming Calls" sees Kindlon's more trademark vocals reappearing and this one reminds me of "I've Got An Idea..." off that "Mixed Signals" compilation. The melancholy last track on here is led solely by Corrigan on vocals and is another excellent track.

I think this record might divide people. It's well removed soundwise from what you might expect from SDF unless you've paid close attention to that "You Are Beneath Her" record and one or two of the tracks on their last LP but at the same time this might bring them new listeners who haven't got into them previously and might love this and hate all their other stuff. That said, I think it's one of their best releases to date.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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