Hive Dwellers, The - Hewn From The Wilderness [LP]
The Hive Dwellers new album is the essence of rock'n'roll moved from the garage
to the basement to the rec room and then back out into the wild. Calvin Johnson
plays guitar and sings his songs in combination with Gabriel Will on assorted
stringed instruments and the contributions of several drummers who have made
their mark on the Hive Dwellers: Spencer Kelley, Brett Lyman and K.E.Sixx.
The Hive Dwellers have toured the U.S. twice around and saturated the Northwest
with their action-packed sound over the last three years. Following some
carefully-crafted out-of-control studio wizardry in Olympia's Dub Narcotic Studio
they emerged with this, a debut album, Hewn from the Wilderness [KLP241]. Said
studio wizardry was enhanced by the presence of Dub Narcotic regulars who lent
their instrumental and production prowess to stunning effect: Karl Blau, Fred
Thomas and Brett Lyman, all of who have played on or produced recordings of
their own plus those of Chain & the Gang, LAKE, the Curious Mystery and
Arrington de Dionyso. Heavy potatoes.
What does it all mean? The album contains the life force behind K and of what
Calvin believes rock'n'roll sounds like: simply stitched beat-centric guitar,
hollowed-out drums and muscley vocals. Through the Dub Narcotic musical
underground his deep hypnotic singing voice drives lyrics like ''the beating of my
foolish tell-tale heart'' straight to the old schooler heart in all of us, and his fervor for
a more primitive, 60's garage sound is unapologetically dance-driven: Calvin wants
you to dance, and he wants to dance with you. Remember that throwback
sentiment ''it sent me''-- as in, this music has such idiosyncratic joy I find myself
rejuvenated, even delivered, after hearing it? Remember when you weren't afraid to
dance like a puppet, wave your arms or bob your head because no one cared - it
was all about the music, about getting to it, not getting it? Remember that perfect
summer at the perfect age with those perfect friends? Hewn from the Wilderness
captures those feelings of wistful indulgence; it's warm yet wild, sparse and fresh,
and real Northwest rock'n'roll.
A who's who of K emerges on Hewn from the Wilderness; for instance, Jeremy Jay
throws down the beat on ''A Woman Named Trudy'' and Karl Blau plays guitar all
over the place, bass on ''Nothin' but the Buryin'''. Contributing musicians include
the Vibrarian's K.E. Sixx, Dub Narcotic Sound System/Chain & the Gang's Brian
Weber, Wallpaper/Basemint's Spencer Kelley, City Center/Saturday Looks
Good to Me's Fred Thomas; when all the dust has settled, Calvin Johnson, Gabriel
Will and Evan Hashi emerge as the musical core of the Hive Dwellers.
- Calvin Johnson is one of the fathers of the independent rock juggeraut. -
- Calvin Johnson is one That sentiment, that the songs we write are us, rings true
with the whole spirit of this album, and of Johnson's music in general. Here making
music is about expressing who we are and how we view the world; for creative souls
like him, writing songs is an integral part of being. - Pop Matters (What Was Me;
1. Messed up and Ramblin'
2. The Dignity of Saint Judy
3. A Woman Named Trudy
4. Tell-Tale Heart
5. Get In
6. Sitting Alone At The Movies
7. Ride with Me
8. Somebody's Phone Is Ringing
9. Nothin' but the Buryin'
10. Blind in One Eye
11. Pine-Shaped Box
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