caleb fraid - "new methods of"

the main man behind doormat tx, gives you nine folk-esquire songs, and one gbv cover. warm and godly. candy and colas.

"50 / 50"
"solid entry"
"charity stripe"
"let me be blind"
"as we go up we go down"

"your roots are showing"
"le roi de jeu de mots"
"drenched in science"
"red is the future"


AConsisting of ten original songs and one cover (Guided by Voices' "As We Go up, We Go Down"), New Methods of Coping With the Modern World shows a weird, gripping intensity to the guy-with-guitar-and-other-things home-taping formula. Part of it lies with Friad's embrace of psych-rock power; the opening number, "50/50," has the same obsessive focus of, say, the Smashing Pumpkins' "Bullet With Butterfly Wings," though Billy Corgan-haters will doubtless approve of the lack of his kind of vocals here. Instead Friad sings with a drony, hypnotic voice, even as the combination of guitar and percussion gets more intensely frenetic. Hints of everything from early Jesus & Mary Chain to Mick Jagger drawls and moans (check out the twangy "Turtleshell," a sort of attempt at the blues) crop up throughout the album as well, all bearing an interesting stamp of combining a certain legacy of cool with the rough-and-ready accessibility of lo-fi. Theoretically it shouldn't work, but it really does; the Guided by Voices cover makes sense in that context, though Friad seems to have a slightly darker heart at points than Robert Pollard. The remake itself, though, is a brisk singalong gem, Friad playing what sounds like banjo as well as guitar and other instruments, making a summery little winner of an interpretation. It makes equal sense that the Broadway classic "My Favorite Things" should be randomly sampled for no apparent reason and there'd be an extremely unusual falsetto vocal at the end of "Charity Stripe." Elsewhere songs like "Your Roots Are Showing" and "Drenched in Silence" capture more of what might be a stereotypical lo-fi tape, but Friad's delivery and ear for odd little melodic turns keep the interest level going. [Fun note: The fact that the final song is called "Red Is the Future (Tape Ran out Edit)."] Ned Raggett - All Music Guide