Western Civ – Shower the People You Love With Gold

January 01, 1970

(No More Fake Labels)




On paper, this one should be a total
knockout. The second full-length from Chapel Hill-based/Alabama-refugees
Western Civ borrows from some of the best of two decades: Songs with the
driving 4/4 rhythms of ‘80s indie acts like the Feelies, the Commotions or
Let’s Active (Mitch Easter produced this record, incidentally), and others that
venture into either shoegaze territory or spikier ‘90s indie rock like Archers
of Loaf, Pavement, or Polvo.


It’s a fertile broth, and it when it
works it does so impressively: “The Disturbing Presence of Chachi” leans ‘80s,
all chiming guitars, lush melodies and Rich Henderson’s spookily Lloyd
Cole-like voice, while “Tuesday” and “Travel Song” coat their Slowdive pace in
Ride-like reverb; “Capitol Stairs” bristles with spiky guitar rhythms and
counter-punch percussion, and “I Am a Waterfall!” could be an updated Chronic Town outtake. The two longer
cuts, “American Pines” and “KGP,” wander too much and the various styles feel
jerry-rigged; they never really coalesce into anything memorable, instead just
sort of smearing off the page.


Even the good songs tend to be sneaky good, and take several spins
before they burrow into your consciousness. Perhaps it’s having to adjust your
dial back a decade or two, sometimes a couple times during a single song, that
keeps Shower from making more of an
immediate impact.


“Tuesday” and “Rally” JOHN SCHACHT



Leave a Reply