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Saturday, October 18, 2008

CD Review: Pee-Pee - Castile Jackine Is Vooded At Broonus Mousin: Volume 1

Pee-Pee - Castile Jackine Is Vooded At Broonus Mousin: Volume 1
2008, Helmet Room Recordings

I bet you never thought you'd put Pee-Pee in your CD player. This Denver folk band/orchestra has made a name for themselves by combining well-written folk/pop songs with delirious orchestral improvisations offering everything from guitar and horns to Theremins and saws. Pee-Pee's full length debut CD, Castile Jacknine Is Vooded At Broonius Mousin: Volume 1 sounds like something of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, but the music is very much down home folk/pop stuff.

Jaroline opens the set with a folksy guitar-based ballad. The ballad grows into an urgent percussive crescendo as the narrator's ideas diminish into declining scales of time. The song resets and grows once again into a promise to be true to a love who is going away. Madness Song (remix) is a lo-fi descent into logical and lyrical dissonance. Musically interesting but verging on the edge of chaos, Madness Song descends into a muddied spectacle that never quite loses control but never really asserts it either.

Love Needs A Quivering, Restless, Aching Fire To Lay It's Head On is perhaps the most intriguing song on the album. There is a real pop sensibility here in this mostly acoustic and staccato rhythm creation. The chorus alone is so memorable you'll carry the song with you for days (if you can remember all the words). Freakout Jam is ten minutes (on the dot) of schizophonic joy where chaos and order eclipse one another at a moment's notice, and at times find eddies of vaguely coherent co-existence. The Pee-Pee Song is a glorious conglomeration of alt-country structure, CSNY harmonies, frenetic playing and absurdism. The song is resplendent with an energy and joy that is sadly lacking from a lot of popular music.

I Love U 2 Much is a driving folk-funk number in an arrangement that is to die for. This song has real commercial potential. With a slightly different arrangement I Love U 2 Much could chart. O, Little Boy closes out the set on a seven minute journey that calls to mind Spoon playing with Kevin Hearn. The verdict is that Pee-Pee is nuts; Wonderfully, lyrically, melodically bonkers. On top of that they're first rate musicians. You can't listen to Pee-Pee without being moved. Castile Jackine Is Vooded At Broonus Mousin: Volume 1 is lo-fi but swims with its own distinct life. Pee-Pee is an experience. You have no idea what you're in for.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Pee-Pee at Castile Jackine Is Vooded At Broonus Mousin: Volume 1 will be released on November 11, 2008, with Volume 2 to follow. Check or the band's site for availability.

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