Thursday, December 13, 2012

30. Zammuto – S/T (Temporary Residence)

The gift of singularity is also a curse—so it’s important to remember that the Books, a truly singular band in an age of ruthless genre-partioning, have ended. There are no more chapters to be written in their story; there are so many “book” puns to be leafed through as we discuss our grief; and there is now Zammuto, which is not an epilogue or a footnote to the Books, but a new beginning for Nick Zammuto, one of that band’s members. Appropriately, it finds him flexing new muscles and honing new skills without abandoning the basic love for words that served as the joyful inspiration behind everything the Books put together. And it is, itself, a joyful record, prickly and playful and sometimes downright bizarre, but never less than welcoming. Perhaps most successfully, it stands entirely on its own.

Which isn’t to say that Zammuto and the Books don’t have a great deal in common—how could they not?—but to affirm that what differentiates Zammuto the band from its widely-beloved progenitor ultimately makes Zammuto the album so interesting in its own right. Again, the foundational delight in language remains intact—Zammuto will never abandon that interest, that is, in the layers of meaning that can be culled from a combination of semantically meaningful units, and how these layers are formed and reformed through placement and context. But whereas the Books’ cut-and-paste aesthetic necessarily lent a patchwork feel to much of their work, Nick Zammuto establishes himself as the focus of nearly every song here (the very Books-like “Crabbing,” which consists wholly of a sample of a hilariously misanthropic lost standard dug up from God-knows-where-or-when, being the principal exception), and it is his soft-spoken lyrics that therefore take center stage.

via Cokemachineglow (read rest there)

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