Review Summary: Death to false fizzle.Shimmer, fade, fizzle
seems to be the cycle on Stringer Barksdale's Strictly Business
. Both musicians work alone on a single track, both of them putting up their best material within the first minute or so and then allowing it to slowly be swallowed up by a few flaws. As these increasingly prevalent illnesses take hold of their host bodies, the tracks go haywire. Slight nuisances wear thin, and any remaining potential that these tracks had just sort of disappears.
Opener "Office of Postmaker," which is performed solely by Ben Klein, begins with a resonating and resplendent guitar cycle that adds character to a sad, psychedelic haze. The canvas swirls, at first the movements are timid, but they eventually become violent, swallowing the guitar cycle in, allowing reversed melodies and cymbals to create a stochastic whole. Klein seems to want to use this minimal canvas to progress and build tension. And then... fizzle
Soon after this anticlimactic end, Alex Robertson plays some stunning piano melodies - and I mean stunning. They're morose, simple, and while they're nothing exceptional on the compositional level, these melodies are impacting - as are Robertson's vocals. Unlike the piano melodies, however, the track is worse off for it. To put it bluntly, Robertson can't sing.
His range is crackly, uncomfortable. It's never truly in key, which could support his woeful lyrics, but it actually just comes across as obnoxious because the piano playing is so clear and strong in its expression of sadness. The inconsistency on that front is one of the tracks biggest failures in terms of feeling and technicality. Another technical issue is that, just as you're truly getting annoyed with his vocals, you have to deal with the almost-connected-but-not-quite-spontaneous shift into howls with swirling psychedelia beneath. After Robertson's vocals hit a new low, the track repeats itself, this time faring worse. Everything is more dramatic this time around, which means that the flaws are magnified and certain sections become nigh-on unlistenable. Again - a gigantic fizzle
. Take note that the vanishing act of potential on Strictly Business
never fails to strike the end of a song.
Long live the fizzle