A Five And Dime Ship - s/t (self-released 2002, FDS8007)
A Five And Dime Ship - "The Way It All Would End" (self-released 2004)
From Aural Innovations #29 (October 2004)
A Five And Dime Ship is made up of Chad Rauschenberger, former guitar player of 100 Days, drummer James Harwood, guitarist James Adkisson from Seven Percent Solution and Ryan Cechma of Flatpoint/AV on bass. First of all let me say that my old band ST 37 played several shows with Seven Percent Solution. James played some guitar on an ST 37 CD and he's a very nice guy. Seven Percent Solution and ST 37 got labled "Space Rock" in the late 90's and even though I thought in many ways we were opposite bands we played several shows together. ST 37 was space rock in the Hawkwind/punk vein and I always thought of Seven Percent more of Psychedelia in a Beatles sorta way. However, A Five and Dime Ship is embracing Space Rock in a very unique artsy/pop/modern psychedilic way. There are no "normal" vocals and the music overall is more cutting edge/experimental than Seven Percent Solution, which I think is a good thing.
Disc One: MY ONLY: the CD sounds great, great musicianship and production. For a split second I thought this sounded like Klaatu but I was confused, it doesn't. CRACKED EARTH reminds me of The Youngbloods Elephant Mountain album but soon goes very modern hypnosis that you don't find on 60's vinyl. These guys are able to make rock music not be an idiotic cliche like 99.9% of "underground" bands, but instead make it art and also pleasurable. THE FARTHEST SHORE is more hip modern prog. SHOOTING GALLERY reminds me of 80's Austin Avant/Pop bands like Kendal Smith's Meaning. These guys were prolly cutting their teeth on Roxy Music and Eno while everyone was slammin to Rollins. YOUR EXTROARDINARY BEAUTY is a pretty song. GODSFLESH AND SILICON is rockin weirdlie. Did I say how much I like the fact that there are no male rock vocals to ruin everything? Very modern Hawkwindish. Oh there are some distorted vocals buried in the mix. Very rockin'. ST could never do songs this hard rockin' and commercial sounding at the same time. ADAMKADMON is more folky modern hippy space music, reminds me of Nash the Slash. A SMALL DEATH: pretty sadness. UNTIL MORNING: very pretty which is something looked down upon in some rock scenes like the Austin Rank and Review Dumbcore Sound. Great song. Is that James on eboe? What is an eboe and how do you spell it? Female vocals are great. Disc Two: CONSTANCE: My wife says this is one of the best bands she's heard, that the music touches her. The music is becoming more psychedelic, or is it me becoming more psychedelic? This is more organic pure than Seven Percent Solution; not trying to be a "good" band.... IT'S CROWDED IN HERE reminds me of ST. BURNIN CHROME: so, they admit it !?!! Now sounds like Adrian Belew era King Crimson without his annoyin' ass vocals. Very 70's boogie rock. EVANGELIC: weird lo-fi spacey messed up chord organ. Like a Daniel Johnston bad trip with no Daniel. Creepy Eraserheadish tapes and noises. FUN WITH SHAPES AND MATH: big Phil Collins drums... more King Crimson, these guys are makin rock guitars into experimental cutting edge art... in a much more creative way than loudness and feedback that too many rock bands use. Reminds me of the Robert Fripp show I saw in '97? SILICON AND GODSFLESH: are they trying to confuse me? Weird experimental but groove bass then drum, almost Chrome-like or Lemmy era Hawkwind. A LONG TIME SICK: 60's lush psyche pop, but again modern, not retro at all. Slow pretty dream space pop. THE WAY IT ALL WOULD END: Bombastic Italian sounding Rock.
This CD should really open some eyes and impress some people. It delivers the goods in a very lushly produced but uncommercial way. OK so the song goes completely off the deep end into "The Wall" madness. Some Country male vocals, is it Gordon Lightfoot or Glenn Campbell on a megaphone in Hell? No, I'm told it's Garth Brooks, Oh it all makes sense now !!?!
The Bonus CD: GONE: sounds great, weird pop psychedelia, no vocals. Wow, this is really pretty powerful music. This is the Austin Space Rock scene graduated from High School and gone to Art School. WAKE UP TO THE SOUND OF A: experimental backwards guitar stuff, cool atmospheric, no drums, then drums. Does James show himself to be the talent of Seven Percent? Synth reminds me of 70's Progbands... ELP, Yes etc, but music is much more original and unique. Backwards frontwards guitar plucking. This makes other Space Rock bands seem pretty primitive. Goes into guitar strummy 70's Mahavishnu Orchestra territory... but better. REOCCURRING GIRL: Groovy "sound track" music yet undiscovered. COFFEE AND A WARM BREAKFAST Twin Peakish. NAME YOUR DEEPEST POOL: Very nice, Popul Vu-ish, Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze-ish, becomes 1974 southern rock without any of the annoyin' parts. A LIFE IN SCALES AND GRAPHS: more progressive rock, reminds me again of Mahavishnu Orchestra, chicken fried King Crimson, very hypnotic, soothing. Like rolling in something lush with a sweet breeze in your face. NARCOSIS: the 1972 sound of Argent before Prog got horrifyingly cheesey in the late '70's. TO ENJOY MORE POWER BASS SOUND: Uh Oh beats, were're going from 1972 to 2004... becomes industrial space noise. NOTHING STAYS NOTHING: again lovliness, lushness. Studio Production, more Twin Peaks thang. MIDDLE PILLAR: tribal drums, Boo likes it. Vocals taped from TV? So I guess all the weird synth noises on this CD are really guitar pedals loops cause there's no synth keys listed on the instruments played. Bonus Track AN INTRODUCTION TO FUN WITH SHAPES AND MATH: more of the same... long guitar freakery. These Cd's are music as art in a good way. Cool packaging.
For more information you can visit the A Five And Dime Ship web site at: http://www.afiveanddimeship.com.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Carlton Crutcher