Stringer Barksdale
Strictly Business


2.5
average

Review

by For Meatplow USER (61 Reviews)
February 27th, 2011 | 64 replies | 6,012 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

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.

Fizzle.

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.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Bitchfork
February 28th 2011



7584 Comments


yeah i haven't reviewed in a long ass time i think it shows but whatever it's better than the fucking cover i mean what the cock is that shit

i owe alex nothing anymore till he reviews ulixkwescent i think

Slum
February 28th 2011



2579 Comments


lol what the fuck is that album art

Bitchfork
February 28th 2011



7584 Comments


yeah and my mom knows now too.

iFghtffyrdmns
February 28th 2011



7047 Comments


"Opener "Office of Postmaker," which is..."
the comma there should be outside of the parentheses, not contained within them.

Other than that, nice review. Sometimes the writing comes off as a little chunky and overtly-conversational, although you certainly do still make it work. Like you said, maybe it's just a result of not composing reviews in awhile. Either way, deserving of a pos. (unlike the record, apparently)

Realm
February 28th 2011



2074 Comments


WELCOME TO OUR FORTRESS TALL
TAKE SOME TIME TO SHOW YOU AROUND
IMPOSSIBLE TO BREAK THESE WALLS
FOR YOU SEE THE STEEL IS MUCH TOO STRONG
COMPUTER BANKS TO RULE THE WORLD
INSTRUMENTS TO SIGHT THE STARS

POSSIBLY I'VE SEEEEEN TOOO MUCH
HANGARRRRR 18 I KNOW TOOO MUCHHHH


*beast guitar solo*

Bitchfork
February 28th 2011



7584 Comments


first of all those are quotes, second of all the rules of grammar in that case are very loose, but you generally put punctuation inside quotes, regardless of whether or not it's for emphasis only. I've asked an english prof I know who said that too so I'm not going to argue with you on that much further.

I understand your tone comments though but I hate professional reviews because they're over-critical of music pieces on technical levels, which I generally ignore unless they detract from the feeling I get from the album, which are my only technical criticisms.

Bitchfork
February 28th 2011



7584 Comments


stfu ire. as janelle monae would say: YOU DON'T KNOW NOTHING

ShadowRemains
February 28th 2011



19431 Comments


lolwut

Realm
February 28th 2011



2074 Comments


TAKE NO SHIT

Bitchfork
February 28th 2011



7584 Comments


yeah i rule i know

pizzamachine
February 28th 2011



12568 Comments


Solid review, pos.

Bitchfork
February 28th 2011



7584 Comments


thanks pizza

Captain North
February 28th 2011



6743 Comments


You're quoting something, the comma is not part of the quote. Thus comma goes outside of quotes.

Anyway, it was a good review but wtf is with the artwork.

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2011



10000 Comments


comma goes inside

Satellite
February 28th 2011



19845 Comments


comma absolutely goes inside.

pretty sure people on the other side of the atlantic do it differently, though.

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

Captain North
February 28th 2011



6743 Comments


Huh. I admit I haven't been taught grammar properly in god knows how long so I believe you. Plus the english language makes no sense anyway, so thats what I get for trying to logic it out.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 28th 2011



5992 Comments


americans put it inside, brits put it outside, rest of the world adheres to whichever philosophy they prefer

liledman
February 28th 2011



3817 Comments


and as usual, the british tradition prevails.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2011



30297 Comments


Comma goes outside, silly Americans. Why anyone would put a period before your closing parentheses will never make any sense to me, technically nothing should follow a period except a new sentence

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

Hep Kat
February 28th 2011



14019 Comments


IT ISN'T RIGHT

GET IT AWAY

IT DOESN'T LOOK RIGHT

Digging: Fucked Up - Year of the Dragon



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