Will Schube is living off experience

Siskiyou’s Keep Away The Dead is a wonderful example of a band picking the right moments. The album’s strongest quality is its restraint, it’s ability to hint at explosions but bring it back to the solemnity of hushed folk the band does so well. Maybe its the deep Canadian wilderness where the band recorded Keep Away, but there’s an unnerving tension that’s pervasive, resulting in an album both stunning and tiring–a bit like the Canadian wilderness. After a serious inner-ear condition kept the band sidelined for three years (four, once the album is released), the group is back with Nervous, a ten-track record which, upon listening to the album’s first single, “Deserter”, keeps the explosions but moves away from the moments of tension and restraint.

There seems to be very little the band said ‘no’ to on “Deserter”. It’s one of those tracks that moves from idea to idea at a pace so hurried that the listener is always already behind the forward push. The album begins with a children’s choir and Dracula-esque piano chords, before an electric bass line thrusts the track into its unrelenting five minutes. This could be a lot worse–the sounds Siskiyou utilize on a regular basis are more interesting than those of 99% of folk artists doing it (sort of like The Microphones)–but the group doesn’t stick with one idea long enough for anything to pack a punch. Hopefully the rest of the album is less like “Deserter’s” totality than it is representative of the track’s best moments; because, like all Siskiyou tracks, the best moments are only amplified once the carpet is yanked beneath the listener’s feet.

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