All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Review: You Are Home - Phoneyhome

You Are Home - Phoneyhome
2009, Sleep On The Floor

You Are Home is a studio project and one man band. Ames, Iowa's Matthew Dake started the project with drummer Breighton Engeman in 2003. Engeman has since moved on, and Dake took on the challenge of writing and performing all songs on his own, staying with the original formula of drums and bass with other instruments as they seems appropriate. You Are Home's debut EP, Phoneyhome, features the manic energy of one man trapped alone in a studio and playing for his life.

Phoneyhome opens with the title track, a psychedelic and energetic instrumental that careens along the edges of madness just for fun. The highly rhythmic nature of the song sets the tone for the listener, setting off on a jazz rhythm with a simple bass line and an urgent feel. She Has The Fakest Loudest Laugh shifts into Heavy Rock gear in a song that begs for a vocal line and some serious electric guitar. Damascus (slow) follows a similar path, although with atypical compositional structure that would not serve a vocal line well. Damascus descends into noise as percussive chords are played repeatedly in nonets (sets of nine) separated by ultimately brief reprieves. You Are Home slows things down on Are You There God? It's me, Matthew Dake. Sound and atmosphere take precedence here over anything like structure of melody, a sort of ambient-organic Drum N Bass composition. Phoneyhome concludes with Bodyhome (For Merrill), an early Rock/Rhythm N Blues riff on bass and drums that gets pulled into variations and sidebars as if in an impromptu jam session. It's a pleasant listen, but ultimately repetitive.

Phoneyhome is essentially a collection of five rhythm tracks with experimental and shoegaze tendencies. These are interesting for what they are, but don't really seem to have any lasting significance unless you are a bass player or drummer. The songs tend toward the highly repetitive, focusing on the sound rather than melody or development as musical ideas. There is a market for this sort of thing, but it's likely a very small demographic. What's done here is done flawlessly; it's just not something that will hold the attention of most listeners.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about You Are Home at You can purchase Phoneyhome as a digital download via iTunes.

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