Band: We Live in Sod Houses
CD: Shark for a Week
Score: 3.5/5 Stars
I think all of us want to be a Shark for a Week. It’s easy to know how to categorize a band like “We Live in Sod Houses.” This Mid-West musical two-some consisting primarily Dustin DeBoer (Guitar & Vocals), Rachel DeBoer (Vocals and Percussion) just released their latest release entitled “Shark for a Week” in 2014. “Shark for a Week” keeps it teal and is one of the more upbeat, funny, quirky and brightly flavored rock releases I’ve heard this year. But most importantly if comes with real thought provoking messages. I enjoy these “couple-type-bands” even though they may not ne a couple they are the vocal front. It’s not so cheesy and sappy like some I’ve heard recently, this one is not so dark and apocalyptic steeped in the fog of shock rock but it does have a small dose of confusion inserted. I mean lighten up will you! This 13 track release has got some sold melodies and impressive musicianship to boot – which is a rarity in today music. Not only are these guys excellent musicians, their contributions to the writing and arrangements of the songs have been of paramount importance-which is to say nothing of the infections and contagious chemistry these two share – in the studio or live. Watch the YOU TUBE video below to see what I’m talking about.
Some would say there’s also nothing really new her that hasn’t been done before per say, but don’t let that fool you. This latest CD will remind you of Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Black Pistol Fire and The Von Bondies. It’s not moody or too serious; it’s quite the opposite evident from the outset within the first few seconds of Track 1: “Love Them Hate Them” and Track 2 “People” which are both superlative numbers. The DeBoer dream team are 2 great rock revivalists, that others (like myself) will lobby hard for. These 2 can sing, write and play well. Music is a masterful combination of Alternative Rock with a bit of Soul and even 70’s stylistic rock. Music and lyrics are all rich in humor laced satire poking fun at the world and full of casual observations. As vocalist both recall the higher-registries as well and mesh well together harmoniously. We Live in Sod Houses have a solid sound that reminds me of both old school rock from the 60’s and 70’s with a modern day feel. Tack 3 the title track is brilliant and another amazing piece with vocals from both members that really get the point across. ”Change” develops well into top flight melodic phrasing and thickly laced harmonies. Some tracks are more pop-inflected however all are alt-rock driven rather than the typical synth-pop posturing we’ve all come to expect. All of this plays into their unique “couple” sensibility and comical spin on the world that can jar even the staunchest of listeners. While it’s easy enough to imagine how wonderful a CD like “Shark for a Week” is you really have to hear it for yourself via the below BANDCAMP link:
Criticisms: The band needs to modernize their sound a bit and add in more instrumentation. It’s a bit dry overall.
It’s safe to say much of today’s Rock is made up entirely of yawning ambient beats, sparse musicianship and superficial vocals. Some of these intangibles reflect the artists themselves and the state of the music industry itself. Much of it is built of a house of cards that has become the quintessential pop persona. Where am I going with all this? None of the above applies to “We Live in Sod Houses” because what you see is what you get. No smoke and mirrors just real good and quirky music that hits hard with a fresh approach to an old school rock n’ roll foundation. “We Live in Sod Houses” is an impressive release from a very likable duo. In the end it’s great to see 2 people lighten up a bit, let down their hair and throw it out there for the world to see.
– Paul Ames. Approved by Cyrus Rhodes.