STRAND OF OAKS

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

Heal Dead Oceans

He’s gone to hell and back with no re­ceipts to show for his heav­ily tolled jour­ney. US song­writer Ti­mothy Showal­ter is a one­time Smash­ing Pump­kins fan who re­verted to raw Amer­i­cana for three al­bums and then re­turned to gui­tars. He’s proof that some artists may have to wait years un­til the mood strikes hard enough to cre­ate some­thing pro­found out of mis­ery, some­thing price­less out of os­ten­si­bly noth­ing. And so, fol­low­ing bouts of sub­stance abuse, re­la­tion­ship is­sues and a near-fa­tal car ac­ci­dent, Showal­ter de­liv­ers his tour de force. The clinch­ers: af­fect­ing au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal lyrics doc­u­ment­ing his mo­ments of down­fall; tunes that ca­reen be­tween Big Star and Hüsker Dü; and – why, thank you so much, Ti­mothy! – molten-liq­uid gui­tar work from Di­nosaur Jr’s J Mas­cis. It isn’t all gui­tar lines, ei­ther – tracks such as Shut In, Woke up to the Light and Ply­mouth soften the blows. In­spi­ra­tional. strand so­foak.net

Down­load: Gosh­nen ’97, Woke Up to the Light

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