Hush Arbors Hush Arbors

[Ecstatic Peace!; 2008]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: psycho folk, fuzzy acoustic jaunts
Others: Six Organs of Admittance, Neil Young, Ugly Casanova

Father crafted contraptions. In his spare time. In our basement. Away from Mother’s eyes. There was one contraption — one I’ve adopted, even though it’s broken now — that was a blood-hued blue, with clunky knobs and overt switches. It was a deliberate noise-box. Dog-eared paperbacks instructed Father how to fix this together. I assume it squealed — electrical currents, the manifestation of penciled whirligig shapes — eking into dissonance. It’s with this in mind — this patriarchal ingenuity and fatherly quirk — that we listen to Hush Arbors.

Keith Wood reveals himself to be the ugliest of Casanovas. These are the reminiscent sounds of an Oregon-transplanted Alas One. His testicle-turned-whine is drowned in a mass of fuzz and frenetic instrumentation; it’s either human error or intentional endearment that shapes his sonic palette. It’s an intimate affair. A slow acoustic jangle sounds intrusive as Wood croons on “Bless You.” This is Neil Young in a bomb shelter; the harvest moon is only a glimmer seeping through the door frame.

Hush Arbors is oversaturated. As has been said, it’s a kind of Siamese dream. It’s a cozy cavern performance, its performer tasered. Keith Wood twitches out his message; electric currents carry upward and outward. It’s a soothing cushion of chaos, like a bloody valentine, a buzzing saw, and an amazing star exploding into particle dust.

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