Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

Little Beirut
High Dive
(self-released)
www.littlebeirut.com


Nobody writes love songs to George W. Bush. Unless, of course, they're from the perspective of jilted lovers who realize he isn't the seemingly beautiful man they foolishly eloped with as young, naïve brides. Condoleezza Rice, on the other hand, has benefited from two known love songs. First, there was Steve Earle's "Condi, Condi". Now comes Little Beirut's "Love During Wartime." (Of course, there may be other Condi odes as well - she's quite the striking lady). Whereas Earle's tribute is an out-and-out song of lust, Little Beirut's is a little more complicated than that. ""Love During Wartime"", explains vocalist Hamilton Sims, "is a jab at the war and the goings on of the Bush administration. But it's also a jab at the fact that in order for [Rice] to become the most powerful woman in the history of U.S. politics, she had to be completely desexualized to make it okay. Hence, [this is] why a love song to her seems so absurd." "Love During Wartime" moves at an easygoing pace, and is colored with horns. It sounds a little like Radiohead-meets-Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire", if that comparison makes any sense. This is only one of many strange musical combinations because Little Beirut is impossible to precisely peg sonically. Little Beirut may be from Portland, Oregon, but Sims often sings like those Brits that lead Coldplay, Aqualung, Athlete, and the like. Even so, the group's instrumentation is more organic, less mechanic than that of their British contemporaries.

This act is equally unpredictable lyrically. If the thought of desexualized Condoleezza Rice is strange song subject matter - and let's face it, that's pretty weird stuff - just get a load of "Sniper's Lament", which appears to concern the Beltway sniper attacks. They find themselves "counting accidents on the freeway," killing time before the next kill. Creepy!

Songs like "Sniper's Lament" tend to lull the listener into a false sense of beauty drunkenness. In other words, everything sounds sugary throughout High Dive, even though many of its lyrics come off ugly and uncouth. It's as though the band sings sweetly, in hopes that all their lovely music might somehow transform this bitter world's aftertaste into Eden's candy once again. They'll fail, of course. But you have to give the guys credit for trying. The candyman can, but mere mortals cannot. And that's a shame for sweet teeth everywhere.

-Dan MacIntosh

Check out more reviews

Talk Back
e-mail the chief

Like this article?
e-mail it to a friend!

 


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.