Califone - Quicksand/Cradlesnakes | RECORD STORE DAY

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1. ...One
2. Horoscopic Amputation Honey
3. Michigan Girls
4. Cats Eat Coyote
5. Golden Ass
6. (Red)
7. Million Dollar Funeral
8. When Leon Spinx Moved Into Town
9. Vamping Again
10. Mean Little Seed
11. Slower Twin
12. Stepdaughter




Tim Rutili, a former member of Chicago's warped blues-rock band Red RedMeat, began his solo project Califone with a computer helping him create themusic. So it's hardly surprising that the new Quicksand/Cradlesnakes,Califone's fourth album, opens with guitar plinks, amp-runoff swirls, andcompu-flutters that feel like they were thrown together with a laptop beforean acoustic piano begins chording plaintively away in the midst of the secondtrack, "Horoscopic. Amputation.Honey." If that strategy brings tomind fellow Chicagoans Wilco, whose acclaimed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot minessimilar folk-rock-meets-IDM-textures terrain, you're pretty close. Addsome Tom Waits, too (or, if you want someone closer in age to Rutili and company,Crooked Fingers). The difference is that Rutili is more inert than Wilco'sJeff Tweedy; he's also less self-consciously arty.

Which isn't to say Rutili isn't plenty arty himself—note thatalbum-opener, not to mention lines like "Drown, drink in the light/ God'seyes are closed/ Just like yours," from the feedback-strewn near-lullaby"Michigan Girls." There's also plenty of wheezing, rattling background-noisystuff decorating the songs; occasionally, it seems like those things are thesongs. But play Quicksand/Cradlesnakes a few times and you'll findthat the melodies eventually coax themselves out of their shells more oftenthan not. You'll also notice that the shells themselves are rather pretty.And as "Your Golden Ass" (lovely title, guys) demonstrates, Rutilihasn't completely lost his knack for rolling blues-rock stomps. Like mostof Califone's work, he's simply subsumed his former band's raunchin some dustier duds.