Monday, June 29, 2009

review: The Winter Sounds' Church of the Haunted South (and dates)

The Winter Sounds
Church of the Haunted South
Theory 8 Records

With an album name like "Church of the Haunted South" too many cultural references involving Faulkner, Appalachia, moonshine, voodoo or redneck rivieras come to mind. Instead head Winter Sound, Patrick Keenan throws it a different way, with mournful meditations, danceable songs, and pure pop more kin to Cali or Britain than with Birmingham or Chattanooga. That said, that's probably more of our culture's problem than theirs--we anticipate a certain "Southern" sound somewhere between jam band-bluegrass-folk-murder ballads than carefully done up pop. For the past month, I've been playing The Winter Sounds' Church of The Haunted South all over town, fitting for an album that's all over the place. In some ways it's 60s Brit-pop to the letter, such as "Marry Me," other times its pure modern rock pop perfection, like the single "Trophy Wife" and "Candlelight." Usually I don't like albums for its precise take on the pop landscape--the usual crescendo to the verse/chorus/verse format bores me for its regularity, but with The Winter Sounds its' the combination of its bop meeting its earnestness that makes me fall for it. For those that don't like their bows so neatly bound, "Pinebox" dallies more in their synth-funk dance vibe and lets their wide open rock aspirations fly, perhaps making it their best song (and best chance at being sampled), though it's close to "Trophy Wife."
With Church of the Haunted South, Keenan and crew have developed an admirable piece of work that uses its many genre subsets to build quite an album. It's a church that all should experience.

Southern tour dates after the jump...

First leg of their southern tour:

Jun 29 2009 Chapel Hill @ Nightlight w/ the Pneurotics & Gift Horse
Jun 30 2009 Winston-Salem @ the Garage w/ the Western Front
Jul 1 2009 Charlotte @ Evening Muse w/ Elonzo
Jul 2 2009 Greenwood, SC @ Homemade Genius w/ Your Sparkle Heart & more
Jul 3 2009 Meridian, MS @ Meridian Underground w/ It’s Elephant’s
Jul 4 2009 Pensacola, FL @ Sluggo’s w/ It’s Elephant’s & Howlies
Jul 6 2009 Baton Rouge @ Chelsea's Cafe
Jul 8 2009 New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar
Jul 9 2009 Lafayette, LA @ Artmosphere
Jul 10 2009 Lake Charles, LA @ Luna Bar & Grill

1 comment:

  1. I fucking LOVE the winter sounds, and Clayton is one sexy hunk!


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