DRINKS

Hermits on Holiday

Birth/Heavenly

Aug 18, 2015 Issue #54 - August/September 2015 - CHVRCHES Bookmark and Share


The collaboration of White Fence's psychedelic erraticism and Cate Le Bon's nursery-rhyme charm isn't one that initially springs to mind as a natural pairing, yet the prospect is certainly an intriguing one. On the surface, they are very different musicians; White Fence (aka Tim Presley) is West Coast psych-rock through and through, while Cate Le Bon specialises in a far quainter type of Welsh folk. However, there is a key common denominator. Both artists have critically acclaimed albums under their belts, largely due to the fact that neither of them is particularly averse to getting experimental. DRINKS is the sound of the two artists going about this creative exploration together, and producing something which caters to both of their tastes for the bizarre.

Unfortunately, the combined effort of these two rather different artists does not prove to be seamless. Hermits on Holiday is essentially an album of two parts, split between those tracks led by Presley's vocals and those by Le Bon. There seems to be a frequent clash of interests, whether that is between Le Bon's distinct guitar simplicity and Presley's distortion of the same instrument, or between the Welsh singer's kindergarten aesthetic and the American's stoner haze. This creates a battle for dominance in each track, a conflict largely won by the vocalist of the particular song. Those parts which are led by White Fence are, somewhat unsurprisingly, the album's weirdest moments. "Focus on the Street" and "Tim, Do I Like That Dog" are two particularly substance-fuelled trackseven listening to them makes you question what you might have consumed in the last few hours. The rest of the album runs along a similar vein of chemical imbalance, resulting in a full-length that sounds more like indulgent fun for its creators than a point of interest for its listeners. (www.birthrecordsusa.tumblr.com)

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