The fourth studio release from the Exciting Sounds of Savo, this disc shows a maturation in production quality without losing the edginess typified by earlier Savo releases.
There are two primary themes of this release - each theme represented by a set of songs that might otherwise stand alone on an EP but are combine here for optimal effect. The “Hillcrest” theme recalls the simpler days around EL when classes were optional and one could still blow over a .1 BAC the next morning. The “Taraval” theme encapsulates life in the last city on the western edge of the world.
The album encompasses a playful edge throughout - a fact that won’t be missed by the astute listener who picks up one of the many times you hear the clink of ice on glass from the tumbler full of whiskey that was ever-present during recordings.
That playfulness is apparent in some of the early songs, In particular “A Visit from the Chicago Chapter”, “Helen Hunt Hottie”, “The Mayor of Riptide” and “Brandy”, and “Brandi B”. Getting into the meat of the disc one encounters a number of mellow, soul-felt songs in “O’s Hangouts” and “Artistically Depleted”.
“The Hanging Judge” is the perfect mid-point between the earlier Taraval material and the later Hillcrest focus, showcasing some stream of consciousness, psychedeliciousness.
“I Want My Balls Back” is a follow up to hit “I Want to be a Eunuch” from the Polk and Pacific album and features Big Bob in this scrotum lamenting dandy. If one wasn’t totally offended and/or felt physically assulted by this point, the hard driving rocking of “The Five Lives of a Little Sister” is sure to tip the scales.
From there, the recording slips into four of the most beautiful tracks that were perhaps ever laid out together back to back. The meditative “Gleckoid”; the mellow, eyes half shut “The Big H House” (itself a follow up to Big R House from The Early Years); the sweet “The Man in the Devil Suit”; and a feel good uptempo “Fu Ling Yu” close out what may arguably be the most accessible Savo disc to date.
Recorded between August 2006 and August 2007 at Savo Studios in San Francisco
released August 30, 2008
Exciting Sounds of Savo Consortium members participating on this recording: Savo, chock, Kaz, Orlando, Pete, Uncle Mark, KofD, Big Bob, Shannon, Justin, SeMe, Trane, Phil Sweet
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