Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday Morning Music Non-Shuffle - Please Don't Die Mix

Please Don't Die is the title of the forthcoming new album by Saratoga Springs, New York band and 2012 Band of the Year (as voted by Readers of Ear to the Ground).  The Digital Deluxe edition goes on sale on Record Store Day (Saturday April 20, 2013).  That same day, you can pre-order the 180-gram vinyl record. The record is the band's first since signing with Magnetic Eye Records.

My Non-Shuffle reflection/insight/review (if you will) of this record begins after the forth-coming JUMP

From Skeletons in the Piano's Facebook Description:
Skeletons are not created in death, they are merely exposed, revealing life's foundations. We hone our craft with a love and respect for the art that has brought us to this point. We create a mood and cast a spell at every show we play. Skeletons in the Piano gives a damn.

The emphasis on the last sentence was added by me because I think it is a pretty succinct summary of my initial impressions upon hearing this record. Skeletons in the Piano (or SITP for short) gives a damn.  They give a damn about production, they give a damn about songwriting, they give a damn about having an intent and carrying out that intent.  I'll tell you why I feel that way.

I've been a fan of SITP since I first heard them which was only about a year ago.  We've featured them a few times, and I've been impressed by the music on their previous album Stranger on a Damned Staircase as well as their awesome cover of The Beatles' classic Eleanor Rigby.  

Upon listening to Please Don't Die, it seems clear that the band set out to make the best album they could, and I think they succeeded.

I tried not to read the earlier reviews of the record, but the one line that I read compares the band's sound as Richard Wagner meets Iron Maiden.  This is a correct assessment, and there is so much more - Blues, Soul, classic Rock n Roll and what kind only be described as Skeleton music all play a part in the spicy gumbo of sounds which make up Please Don't Die.

The Metal influence comes across several times on the record with a BIG Guitar sound and soaring, strong vocals. I'll admit, I was not a Metal-head in my younger years, but SITP casts a powerful spell, and I found myself ready to do some headbanging or whatever. 

Even when the band "takes it down", the music does not lose any of it's expansive and glorious power. The band sets the mood and sustains it successfully for the album's eight songs.  

The moments where Jeff Ayers wicked Violin rise above the mix and seem to weave around the rest of the music are sublime. The first listen, I found myself smiling and wishing that someone was sitting with me so I could look at them and say, "Are you hearing this?"  

For me, I have to just come out and say that 2013 has been an amazing year for music, and I'm happy to put Please Don't Die on the top tier among the very best of the excellent class of records released since January 1.  And, although it is only mid-April, I don't expect that position to be in any jeopardy.  I will be listening to this record over and over again in the weeks, months and years to come. 

Hearing this great music and watching some of the performances captured on video (see the Playlist below), makes me eager to see this band live. If you get the chance, I sure hope you'll take it.  April 20 - pick up this album and/or pre-order the vinyl in celebration of Record Store Day. 

Skeletons in the Piano are:
   Elijah Hargrave – Vocals and Guitar
Dustin Alexander – Bass and Vocals
Jeff Ayers – Violin and Keys
Eric Donovan – Drums
Brad Thibodeau – Guitar
Tatianna Morales – Dance/provoke
Katarra Peterson – Dance/invoke

 Please Don't Die tracklisting:

1 - The Price Put on You 

2 - Memory Lane Needs a Garbage Man
3 - Disposable Television, Disposable Guns
4 - Digging Underneath the House
5 - Long Pig
6 - The Blood Beyond
7 - Loose Kites in the Harbor
8 - Oh, Rose  



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