Thee More Shallows - Book of Bad Breaks

These tunes are universal.

Album Review by Dave Kerr | 11 Apr 2007
  • Book of Bad Breaks <br/>
Album title: Book of Bad Breaks
Artist: Thee More Shallows
Label: Anticon
To some at least, "Anticon does indie rock" might make for an attractive proposition on paper - but mightn't such a delicious gambit go horribly wrong? After all, this lot are more notorious for the production of innovative hip-hop, are they not? Don't concern yourself. Not if (forgive them the daft name for a second) Thee More Shallows are a large part of that proposal, especially when considering this LP which is a slight advance beyond 2005's foray into psychedelia, More Deep Cuts. Using Modest Mouse, Eels and Anticon's own Why? as touchstones while mucker Odd Nosdam interjects with a few breaks here and a French horn segue there; the brittle, fuzzy-headed style of Book of Bad Breaks is sublime at best throughout its numerous euphoric peaks, easing up only for a few brief interludes and a chin stroking duo of ambient closing ditties.

Otherwise, this is a full on sonic safari; a predominantly sharp and inspiring release which boasts an array of inventive instrumentation which frames the calming delivery of vocalist Dee Kesler. Despite the haunting, downtrodden poetry in these lyrics, optimism and vitality shines brightly throughout the Shallows' sound. The pace sways between a crawl and a juggernaut with the trio appearing at their most dangerous when they muster a tempo for the eloquent two fingered salute of Night at the Knight School and break out into the rumbling dysfunction of Fly Paper. A heavy release for heavy times and, as the self mocking name suggests, you needn't worry about whether you subscribe to Plan B or the NME in order to take some enjoyment away from this incredible LP. These tunes are universal. [Dave Kerr]
Release date: 23 April.
Thee More Shallows play Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh on 21 April.