Eric Chenaux
Dull Lights Constellation http://www.tinymixtapes.com//sites/default/files/arton5178_0.jpg

[Constellation; 2006]

Rating: 3.5/5 3.5 / 5 (0)

Styles: experimental folk, fractured folk
Others: Devendra Banhart, Mount Eerie, Hush Arbors


http://media.tinymixtapes.com/

Pick up Dull Lights and read the back of the case. Looking at the mentions of lap steel guitar and banjos, it'd be a matter of seconds before the words "traditional folk" and "alt-country" flashed before your mind's eye. Banjo and lap steel have been prevalent in just as many avant classics and experimental masterpieces as alt-country staples and ancient folk ballads. Passing by pubs and bars any Friday or Saturday evening would tell you just as much. The local Irish pub's entertainment may be playing ye old potato famine hymns while the hole-in-the-wall bar is hosting a local noise act that has mangled Roy Clark's beloved instrument into mush. Twang is a powerful sound. But now we've come to Eric Chenaux. A popular figure in Toronto's underground scene, Chenaux is just as comfortable turning twang into disjointed sounds as he is touching upon old tyme Scottish folk. Dull Lights finds Chenaux combining both into song after song. The true chore of Dull Lights isn't in listening to the album, but explaining how it sounds. It isn't noise twang, nor is it alt-drone. Chenaux's trio borrows established, time-honored melodies from the world of folk and marries them with spastic, well-placed pieces of angular sound. Dull Lights becomes folk music in a blender set to pulse. The backbone never waivers; the structure is basic and pure. Any joe armed with a guitar and a campfire can play along with the melodies. What set Dull Lights apart are the flourishes of cut-and-paste twang. Interruptions of banjo and found sound keep each track on its toes. Chenaux has found the means to turn ordinary into extraordinary. No matter how unoriginal "White Dwarf White Sea" or "I Can See It Now" may begin, there's always a hiccup to keep things interesting. No matter how spastic "Weather the Wind" or "Memories Are No Treasure" may seem, there is always a steady dose of the traditional to keep the track grounded. Eric Chenaux walks the Dull Lights tightrope with few staggers, making this old folkie and new noise-ie (consider this my 'truthiness') blissful each and every listen.

1. Skullsplitter
2. Worm and Gear
3. I Can See It Now
4. Weather the Wind
5. Dull Lights
6. Memories Are No Treasure
7. White Dwarf White Sea
8. Ronnie-Mary
9. However Wildly We Dream

1. Skullsplitter
2. Worm and Gear
3. I Can See It Now
4. Weather the Wind
5. Dull Lights
6. Memories Are No Treasure
7. White Dwarf White Sea
8. Ronnie-Mary
9. However Wildly We Dream