The New Folk Implosion
The New Folk Implosion
/domino; 2003/



more info:

A bit of bio:

Why The New Folk Implosion ?? Because there’s a new line-up. Sebadoh has taken a long break because Sub Pop didn’t like The Sebadoh whose sales were apparently mediocre compared to what was expected (according to Lou Barlow himself who keeps repeating that in recent interviews). Since Sebadoh’s break, Lou Barlow focused on his Sentridoh’s album and on his side-project The Folk Implosion he originally started in 1993 with his friend John Davis. They released two lo-fi oriented albums: 1994's Take a Look Inside and 1997's Dare to Be Surprised. They also scored a college hit with the song "Natural One" off the Kids soundtrack (1995). This led them to sign a deal with Interscope which released One Part Lullaby in 1999 and then kicked them out. John Davis called it quits. Russ Pollard from Sebadoh joined in and he was followed by his fellow from acoustic group Alaska Imaad Wasif on guitar, which boosted the sound in a louder guitar way. Lou composed most of the songs but plays the instrument he played in his Dinosaur Jr years and sometimes in Sebadoh: bass guitar.


In the Kids soundtrack and in One Part Lullaby, Folk Implosion experimented with various electronic loops and samplings. Here, Lou Barlow returns with a straightforward album which is not lo-fi but simply indie-pop-rock, largely rougher and ragged than The former Folk Implosion.

I first listened to ‘Releast’ and inferred right away that The New Folk Implosion was basically Lou Barlow’s Sebadoh songs played under a different name so I expected to listen to an album close to Sebadoh circa Harmacy or Bakesale (which are in my opinion Sebadoh’s best albums). However, I must confess I was mistaken. Only two songs are clearly reminiscent of Sebadoh’s grungy style: ‘Releast’ and ‘Creature of salt’. They are both distorted guitar driven tracks with Lou Barlow’s great sincere voice on top. ‘Releast’ is particularly reminiscent of what’s best in Harmacy: a noise-pop song with peaks and valleys complementing one another, a great sense of melody both in the dirty guitars and in the nice honest vocals. ‘Creature of Salt’ is more grungy thanks to its one-time power chord riff and its unexpected solo. I have to admit that Lou Barlow strangely enough sings a bit like Eddie Vedder in this song but let’s get things straight: that does not make a Pearl Jam-like song, you morons.

Apart from ‘Pearl’ and ‘Easy’ that are two folk ballads (the latter being a bit mundane compared to the first), the other songs have this distinct Folk Implosion aspect about them. It seems like they were composed as usual Folk Implosion songs and that they were later suffused with noisy overdriven guitars. It is obvious in the opening song ‘Fuse’ in which there are guitar themes close to One Part Lullaby’s spirit but there are dynamic bass and guitar parts as well and this laid-back grungy ending. ‘Brand of Skin’, ‘End of Henley’, ‘Coral’ and ‘Leaving it up to me’ seem to really have been made for the former Folk Implosion and ended being played in a louder way. The wonderful ‘End of Henley’ and ‘Leaving it up to me’ remain rather calm though. Some of the songs are still decorated by loops (‘Brand of Skin’, ‘Leaving it up to me’). There are some quick intermissions at the beginning of the songs which are nods in the direction of either One Part Lullaby (loops) or to Sebadoh (‘Leaving it up…’ female speaking intro and ‘Creature of Salt’s outro)

How could I write this review without mentioning some lyrics lines ?? Our favourite slacker’s sad descriptions of personal relationship failures are still deeply thrilling because they echo our owns I guess… Be they on a friendly level in ‘Leaving it up to me’ (‘Give your heart to a stranger, turn your back on a friend, walk away unafraid of the end’ on ‘Releast’) or on a farewell love level on ‘Pearl’ (‘I couldn’t make you happen so I set this house on fire’), be they express deep depression (‘Watch another brother fall, watch another friend leave, tell me what the fuck is wrong with me…. Patterns in my scattered mind, wasted am I, all the time leaving it up to me”) or temporary weakness and vulnerability (‘I’m only part of the blame but I offer myself all the guilt and regret. Go easy on me, I’m a creature of salt dissolving in front of your eyes”).

The New Folk Implosion is definitely one of the first nice indie albums to be released in the beginning of 2003.

-SEB WOOd (mimicking Blacklisted Igor’s solemn crypto-communist style)

/mar 1st 2003/