Review: Pick a Piper – Pick a Piper
Published on April 24th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Brad Weber is no longer merely Caribou’s live drummer, cool as that is: he is also now, as Pick a Piper, the creator of a frequently astonishing debut album. His wise choices of guest vocalists supplement those instincts he shares with his mentor-of-sorts – you know, a proclivity for swarmed mixes hewn from dazzling arrays of colours and textures – and with the hypnotic polyrhythms he constructs out of drums both live and programmed, he ices the cake most satisfactorily.
“Lucid in Fjords” is a superb opener, its googly electronic glee met with sophisticated swipes of guitar to hint at what Doves might have come to sound like if they’d remained Sub Sub. Our pick (arf!) of the bunch is “South to Polynesia”, a headspinning embracing of the maximalist splendour that Caribou served up on the Up in Flames LP he released in 2004 under the name Manitoba; it’s brilliant headphones fare and epic with it, quite simply one of the tracks of 2013 so far.
Penultimate number “Hour Hands” becomes enveloped in a brooding brass section as if Sigur Ros had been bum-rushed by a fast-paced samba, before “Dinghy in a Quiet Cove” brings proceedings to a close on a whirring, clattering yet somehow lush note, throwing in a refrain of “settle down” as if to remind itself to lay off all these crazy sounds for a bit. Not for long though, we hope, because this is supremely assured stuff from a debut album.
Last year we had Tune-Yards’s bassist Naytronix stepping out with a terrific LP of his own, now it’s the turn of Caribou’s drummer. Who’ll be next to out themselves from the closet of awesome?
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!