• jim and the french vanilla Afraid of the House (LP, £20.75)

    label: Dirtnap Records

    The solo project of Jim Blaha from The Blind Shake. This is his third album under this moniker, but the first to be made widely available the first two came out on CDR-only and limited-to-100 vinyl, respectively. The first two albums were acoustic, one-man-band affairs, but on Afraid Of The House Jim (along with his brother/bandmate in Blind Shake Mike Blaha) expands to a full band sound, to astonishing effect. The basic songwriting retains the incredibly distinctive mystical, other-worldly atmosphere of The Blind Shake, but the instrumentation and sound are both stripped down to their essence, dialling way back on the loud-psych stamp of his main band. Raw, feral, but incredibly catchy, this album covers a wider sonic pallet than one might pick up on at first. From poppy to heavy, from atmospheric to wild, it reflects a wide range of ideas and emotion, while maintaining surprising consistency throughout. Tracks: 1. When You?re Down 2. I'm Just Sitting Here 3. Back Home 4. Take It To The Grave 5. Not Even War 6. Eye For An Eye 7. Grow Like Rabbits 8. Psychic Killer 9. I Have To Slow Down 10. Green Curtains 11. Lonely Man

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