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Relative Ash
Our Time With You
Island


An open letter to hard rock drummers:

Ride cymbal is an instrument...NOT an instruction!

That being said, Relative Ash utilizes really complex ever-changing rhythms without losing the listener. The ebb and flow spins around and melds heavy dirges and waltzes into massive fuzz freakouts. Sensible guitar lines tie the differing segments together. Do not mourn the demise of the guitar solo, my good people. Send it back into part of the band where it belongs.

Marcus Harrington's unique style is irresistible. His paranoid euro-80's sweetness shows a vulnerability that makes him infinitely more dangerous than Casey Chaos (Amen). After he has garnered your sympathy and your shoulder, he spews uncontrollably into your ear. The unexpected volume and voracity of his outbursts can best be described as vomiting his lyrics. He falls back into Corgan-like hiccups, and the dry heaves come back. The content is as heavy as the sounds. Raw emotion and sexual issues make up the full version of the bandísphilosophy.

"Pout" is the first of several stories dealing with the unusual topic of conception. Much of the focus seems to deal with the balance of guilt, pleasure, and obligation. "Spitting out mind erection her womb grips screaming birth I feel her digging me soft sucking out wrong I'm bound for sound cool youíre a pops now." Complex subject matter and yoda-like graphic lyrics add validity to the difficult music. The thread flows in "Sperm" compounded with self-abuse and self hate. "My disease apologies I need more than just drink some warm milk honey slit my wrists." And again in "Breathe:" "Born vagina smiles exhale pornography youíre clean now your veinsinhale."

An Eastern feel on "Flavor" prepares for more personal observations, "have you ever witnessed full blown romance and there ainít no question they held hands like we did." The realities of HIV (the bandís main ministry) are explored in "Hymen" from first-hand experience. The depth of the lyrics really shows here. Relative Ash seems to be about the experience of life from birth to death. They deal with abandonment, despair, desire and hope. "5:30" deals with an unfaithful father and consequences from the previous track. "Iím doing alright for being a bastard." Death grips again in "Be Mighty." "I couldnít walk I couldnít crawl I felt death before I talked." A somewhat softer reflection in the grieving process.

Through the trauma the singer found an outlet in music, described in "Bounce." "6 Miles To Learn" is about disillusion with the church. Fatherhood from the other side in "Good Form." He also seems to address vasectomy and custody here, "why don't you share our baby but it keeps me warm." The cohesion comes in "Charmed," stealing lines and topics in an attempt to find collusion. "Our Time" is an emotionally draining but very rewarding experience. Very surprising for a major labelrelease.

-Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing:

  1. Pout
  2. Sperm
  3. Breathe (Tiny Hands)
  4. Flavor
  5. Hymen
  6. 5:30
  7. Bounce
  8. Be Mighty (If He Falls Go Pick Him Up)
  9. 6 Miles To Learn
  10. Good Form
  11. Charmed


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

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