Reviews

Art Feynman
Blast Off Through The Wicker

(Western Vinyl)

6/10

Art Feynman’s press photos see him standing in what appears to be a quarry, using various means – flowers, floppy hats – to obscure his face in the shot. Perhaps this Californian wants to hide himself from the lens (Luke Temple from Here We Go Magic has since been revealed as the man behind the project). His boldly produced debut album, though, displays no such signs of shyness – rather a determination, it seems, to break generic boundaries as well as to mine African influences.

Feynman starts to relax into things with ‘Slow Down’, which is very cool, with a shuffling beat and a sensuous vocal. Imagine Portishead in a smoky jazz club. The song feels very freeform, and ends too quickly. Yet an underlying sense of unease seems to be one of the central musical themes of this record, which is built on equal parts rhythmic tightness, exemplary musicianship and abstract creativity. The eight-minute ‘Feeling Good About Feeling Good’ is almost like the Beta Band meets ‘Second Coming’-era Stone Roses, with a repeated lyrical refrain and an extended wig-out to close; the kind of holy jam which, if done right, will never feel old.

But while you can’t help admire that ‘Blast Off Through The Wicker’ genuinely pulses with creativity, songs like ‘Hot Night Jeremiah’ are overly long and incredibly dull, and on album closer ‘Small House Blues’ it’s as if the musicians themselves are painfully bored. This otherwise impressive debut suffers greatly for it.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for is a recurring payment of £3 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£6 per month) and the rest of the world (£8 per month).

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door, and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.