In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 4: Record Review – Doomslang’s Stay At Home EP

“Doomslang, the pet project of Joshua McCormack, straddles some heretofore unseen line between The Residents, Bon Iver, and Broken Social Scene. That’s a line I wasn’t sure I thought existed, largely because the quirkiness and hesitancy may not necessarily be fully intentional.

Carrying the highest banner for lo-fi production, “Tonight’s Offerings” sees liquid treatments of hissy, smoky vocals, with tenuous rhythmic treatments of electronic sounds and Moldy Peaches-style guitar playing. There is a certain naiveté to the song – and much of the album – that vacillates between irascible and endearing. “Dawgie Lullaby,” the third track on the record, drifts quietly into what sounds like it could be an unreleased track from Her Space Holiday or old-school Xiu Xiu as McCormack sings  with a close-to-the-mic intimacy as his vocals almost turn away before as the necessary chimes and drums come in to flesh the song out. McCormack’s androgynous voice doesn’t soar so much as it flows through the drifting through the terrain on “I’m Supposin’,” a song which capitalizes on the various techniques – spatial, instrumental, rhythmic, melodic – that McCormack tests out through the rest of the album. This is the closest McCormack gets to channeling Kevin Drew, as “Nerf Hospital” sounds like it could comfortable fit on the last third of a KC Accidental album.

McCormack has talent. There’s something to be said for his tiny symphonies and the delicate monologues, but it isn’t without its issues, both formally and structurally; musically, there is a preponderance of stasis, and rather than fully-formed melodic lines, ideas tend to be individual points that rarely fully evolve. Still, I would love to see McCormack iron out some of the technical ideas – and spend more time mastering, especially – that he did here. It would be well worth McCormack pairing up with additional musicians, as he did in “Nerf Hospital,” and more fully fleshing out his musical universe. It’s one that seems worth exploring.” – Tom Dempster

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About Jasper

What Jasper Said is the blogging arm of Jasper – The Word on Columbia Arts, a new written-word oriented arts magazine that serves artists and arts lovers in the Columbia, SC area and its environs in four ways: Via Print Media – Jasper is a bi-monthly magazine, releasing in print six times per year in September, November, January, March, May & July, on the 15th of each month. Jasper covers the latest in theatre and dance, visual arts, literary arts, music, and film as well as arts events and happenings; Via Website – Jasper is an interactive website complete with a visual arts gallery, messages from Jasper, an arts events calendar that is updated several times daily, bite-sized stories on arts events, guest editorials, local music, dance & theatre videos, community surveys, and more; Via Blog – What Jasper Said -- you're reading this now -- is a daily blog featuring a rotating schedule of bloggers from the Jasper staff as well as guest bloggers from throughout the arts community; Via Twitter – Jasper Advises is a method of updating the arts community on arts events, as they happen, with more than a half dozen active tweeters who live, work, and play inside the arts community everyday ~ Jasper Advises keeps the arts community abreast of what not to miss, what is happening when it is happening, and where to be to experience it first hand.
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