Monday, May 15, 2006

Devin O'Brien - Just Try

Hear The Track Here

A completely new name to me, Devin O'Brien is in fact three peeps, at least if I understand this correctly. Devin O'Brien (guitar/bass/hand drums/keys), Andy Risitano (guitar/bass) and Jenn Hartford (vocals). They also appear to be called either =cellar door= or Blue Iris but then I kinda gave up the inquisitive ghost... Way too much information for me. They are also labelled under Experimental and I'm not sure this is the right genre at all, unless you count acoustic rock (albeit of the lo fi variety) in that realm.

In fact, there is nothing whatsoever experimental about it at all.

Just Try is an acoustic female vocal track courtesy of Ms Hartford and very pleasant they are too, although obviously catering to North American tastes. DO'B cite a few classic rock names as influences (Greatful Dead, Hendrix, Pink Floyd etc) and I can certainly hear those influences in the songs arrangement and production styles. It's a given then that to really enjoy this track you should like a rough and ready (pretty much live even) recording and a definitely low key delivery. Nonetheless, the power of the song itself is pretty much there and makes me wonder what this could sound like done with a larger scope of production. To be sure, I felt it could have done with a little more of a percussive help, but that's just me being ornery again...

Like a lot of artists who write songs DO'B seem to have forgotten how much enjoyment and understanding listeners may get out of reading the lyrics while listening to the track. Shame really, because I feel it would have helped to establish the song earlier in my mind than the several plays I had to give it before it finally registered. Register it did though and although I am not a mad keen fan of material like this, Just Try stands up as being a very workmanlike peice of music and definitely worthy of a listen. More especially if you like the Big Ship approach to music making because this is the closest Soundclick reference I can make to Devin O'Brien's musical style. I left the track wishing it could have been more than it actually was and maybe a lot of that is down to what the band are using to record this material. Even a couple more instrumental parts might help to lift the song a little. It does - to my ears anyway - some a little too 'home-recorded' if you know what I mean.

Small change, I know, but something maybe to think about.

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