Abe Vigoda – Reviver

February 20, 2009

I really liked Abe Vigoda’s album “Skeleton” from last year, so when their new 5-song EP, “Revival,” came out this week I had high hopes. And I was certainly not disappointed by the high-energy opener, “Don’t Lie,” followed by the slightly noisier “House” that followed. Both of those tracks rank up there with the standouts on the earlier “Skeleton.” They sound like what I’d imagine some tracks off of Deerhunter’s “Microcastle” might have sounded like if Bradford Cox had decided to lean towards punk instead of ’50s-era pop and rock ‘n’ roll. Excellent!

“House” fades into the short but haunting “Endless Sleeper,” a substantial and interesting reworking of the track by the same name off of “Skeleton.” But none of that, as great as it was, prepared me for what came next. Track 4, “Wild Heart.” Listened to it once – wow – this is something entirely different. Listened to it again – man – this is really powerful stuff. Then the third time through, it finally hits me: this is a cover of the STEVIE NICKS song! Awesome! A totally amazing reinterpretation that, even though a cover, takes the band’s already high level of creativity a big step further.

“Reviver” is a great EP, and its brevity – uncut by filler, throwaways, or half-baked ideas – only adds to its considerable prestige. This is pure, distilled beauty.

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