Genres: folk, sea ditties, freaky spook folk
Bryan Day / PE
3803 S 25th St.
Omaha, NE 68107
Feb 10 - 16 2003
can't quite put my finger on what's so appealing about Silt Fish's
Zabaranda. It's a very bizarre work, an album full of
weird folky stuff unlike what the Public Eyesore label usually
produces. It kind of sounds like the type of sea ditties you'd
expect from a bunch of senile old pirates on a ship headed to
Hell. You've got guitar and vocals stuff with other instruments
in the background (some flute? some cello? some
accordion?). And there are melodies, mostly minor key - but the
whole thing is so eerie, so spooky, that it doesn't seem that
different from the Public Eyesore's more experimental material.
The lyrics further convey the spooky image of the album.
Frightening narratives about fantasy worlds filled with angels and
other things, the songs tell stories of isolation and
loneliness. The Sheffield-based band's creepy, British vocals
further enhance the freakiness of the narratives, though are hard to
decipher for those not attuned to the accent.
Let's take a look at the title track. It starts off with a
bird chirping and then quickly introduces a funereal church organ along
with some wind-like electronics and vocals about a Kafka-esque
isolation. The words depict many bizarre, creepy images that
help enhance the effect. Guitars back the organs, strengthening
the frightening atmosphere. Eventually the organs are stopped, only to be
replaced by bizarre, ritualistic moans and drones. After awhile,
the organs make a return, even creepier before, and the track ends on
a climax that will make the dilapidated haunted house you're living in
fall apart and collapse into rubble around you.
Altogether, Zabaranda is the most eerie album I think I've
ever heard. Through the use of dark instrumentation, creepy
Dracula-esque vocals, frightening lyrics, and a nice horror movie
atmosphere, Silt Fish have crafted some of the most mind-fuckingly
fucked songs ever committed to tape. Why did I write this review
Fun Fact: Not only do Silt Fish make
positively spooky music, but they are also eerie visual artists.
You can see some of their bizarre artwork here.
8 songs, distributed by CD
Baby, released 2000]