Album Review :
Husband&wife - Proud Flesh

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Artist: Husband&wife

Album: Proud Flesh

Label: Crossroads of America Records

Release Date: October 26, 2010

Reviewer: Eric Pettersson

Tracklisting:

  1. Begone Long One
  2. Market Fresh
  3. Not Every Bird Can Fly
  4. Proud Flesh
  5. 6 Little Indians
  6. They Should Give You Medicine
  7. Extendo Jam
  8. Low Profile
  9. I Have Been Made Huge
  10. Belong Gone One
  11. Class War

After last year’s most excellent Dark Dark Woods, the guys in Husband&wife decided to mix things up a bit and move in the opposite direction from a mellow and minimalist indie rock sound to a lush and energetic one. While fans of the last record may feel unsure about this goal, the results show a talented band that is can be flexible musically while maintaining their unique signature style.

In fact, even while I noticed the faster pace and more layered arrangements, it took playing the two albums side by side to be hit by just how different they are. And in that context, they are indeed quite different, even if the music is still clearly coming from Husband&wife.

The song “Not Every Bird Can Fly” is a great example. The intro and choruses are full of pounding riffs and vocals ready for a punk rock chanting sing-a-long, but the melody is never lost. If anything, this album is more melodic than the last one, because the music is more fleshed out and the vocals are more pronounced.

Then there’s “They Should Give You Medicine,” which starts out fast, with constant cymbal crashes and quick strums behind that familiar voice. Again, some parts of the song move into a slower and more textured sound with so much going on that it will move you without you knowing why. As with the rest of Proud Flesh, here Husband&wife continue the pattern of simple and conversational, yet poetic and original lyrics.

Overall: Proud Flesh is yet another great release from Husband&wife (not to mention XRA). While I find Dark Dark Woods to be more memorable, we can probably attribute that to the repetition on that album. The new one shows quality musicianship and complexity, making it worth a listen if your tastes range from Elliot Smith to Colour Revolt.

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