As with the previous disc, the third full length from the Exciting Sounds of Savo is yet another disc packed with songs - there are 18 original recordings featured on this disc. Unlike the previous two discs though, this disc has much more of a dark and foreboding feel making it perhaps the most unaccessible of the many Savo releases.
Largely recorded following the move of Savo Studios from Michigan to San Francisco, this disc perhaps mixes in the sentiments of an economy shocked by the stock market crash of 2001 with the bohemian feel of the Polk Gulch neighborhood right around the corner from the studios. Accompanying the darker feel comes more experimentation with the sounds and song structure of the disc. Patient listeners who are not afraid to get out of their comfort zone often find themselves rewarded with nuggets of sonic bliss in some of the unconventional songs and sounds on this disc.
The first chance at reward for those with an open mind starts with the first song - “Whatever Happened To…”. Lacking verse, chorus, verse, the song tugs the listener in two different directions with a floating keyboard lullabying one against an aggressive, tension filled guitar. Two instrumentals immediately following - “Savo in Asia” and “Savo in the Park” - provide texture as an introduction into the meat of the disc.
If there’s a hit on this release, it comes next in “I Want to be a Eunuch”. This, and the next song, “The Phases of Kaz”, which is equally as hit worthy, were penned when Consortium member Big Bob visited the Savo Studios and laid down some lyrics on the spot.
“Betsy and Bud” is created after drinking with Betsy and Bud at Shanghai Kelly’s down the street. “Savo’s Scary Dream” adds a little dark texture to the disc before “Swindled” takes the listener down a path that starts innocently enough but becomes crooked fast.
Long time Consortium member, Kaz moves out to San Francisco and into the neighborhood. The rest of the songs on the disc explore various sounds and textures inspired by late nights in the studio after evenings out on Polk Street. “The Kaz Opera” provides a soothing texture prior to the energy of rocker “Go Big O”. The familiar “You’re a Cruel One” turns twisted in a hurry and is followed by “Dotcom’on” a diddy about the dot com bubble set to a carny backdrop.
Maggie the cat sings to a lonely late night harmonica with “Savo and His Harmonica” before “The tunefilter Song”, “An Army of Subversive Elements 1 & 2”, and “Playing Hopscotch Between Genius and Insanity” completely diverge from the comfort zone of your average song. Stories and anecdotes from the recesses of Kaz’s mind are set against textures during this stretch of disc. Like a car wreck, you may think you don’t want to see this, but you can’t look away and can’t get the searing images out of your mind afterward.
The disc closes with “A Bunch of Wows”, the most divergent Savo song written to date and the call for hope that replaces the fear and loathing of the last couple of songs into a spiritual chill environment. Refresh your drink, dim the lights, and kick back and enjoy because this one is a dandy.
released October 13, 2006
Exciting Sounds of Savo Consortium members participating on this recording: Savo, chock, Kaz, Big Bob
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