Giant Sand return with their signature alt-country/punk sound with Chore of Enchantment
. Howie Gelb’s calm, spooky vocal delivery mixes together perfectly with the twangy acoustic melodies and punk-esque guitar distortion. Believe it or not Giant Sand have been around since 1985; former members of the group went on to form acts such as Calexico and Lampchob so there are obvious similarities between these three groups. That being said Giant Sand posses their own unique sound that is more punk influenced and sincere then both of the bands mentioned above.
Chore of Enchantment
is perfectly fitted for the summer. The laid-back, folk-tinged atmosphere of ”Shiver”
and ”X-Tra Wide”
are just so easy to kick back and relax too, Howie Gelb’s dry, restful voice isn’t overly intense as it fits the relaxing and care-free vibe of the album almost perfectly. A good portion of the music is focused around Gelb’s vocals and simple yet addicting acoustic guitar melodies. ”Punishing Sun”
just consist of Howie and his acoustic guitar, the lonesome late-night atmosphere vividly paints a picture in your head due to the lyrical imagery that the songs create.
About 50% of Chore of Enchanment
consists of laid-back folk inspired ramblings while the other 50% is a coherent mix of country-punk and pop-rock. ”Temptation of Egg
features funky guitar riffs and female vocalists showing off a jazzy side to Giant Sand that I’ve never heard before. There’s also the distorted, raw, punky songs (”1972"
) that nearly jump out of your speakers. While I consider Chore of Enchantment
to be a folk album it does offer a lot of variety. Giant Sand do an exceptional job at mixing in punk, pop, as well as jazz influences into their signature “western-esque folk” sound.
There’s just enough meat to keep the listener interested throughout the sixty minutes of Chore of Enchantment
. Whether it be Howie Gelb’s isolated lyrical imagery or blasts of distorted noise Giant Sand are able to create an emotional piece of work that will appeal to fans of both folk and punk. At first Chore of Enchantment
may feel like another typical folk album that you should have no trouble sleeping through. However after just a couple of listens Giant Sand’s sixteenth studio release will prove to be an excellent album due to it’s variety of styles and raw, folk based structure.