THE HISTRIONIKS
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Camouflage Baby comes out in the open.........................

The Histrioniks

December 27, 2010

Album Name: Camouflage Baby
Artist: The Histrioniks
Year/Label: 2010 / Independent

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Camouflage Baby - The Histrioniks

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

The Histrioniks and I go way back. Actually, I don’t really know them personally at all. Just exchanged a few emails, but they’ve always been nice enough to give me a shout out on their albums’ liner notes.

As I’ve stated previously, their music is on the edge of weird. Which is a good thing. This one is maybe a bit more accessible. That is, it’s not quite as odd. I think I might like it best, actually.

They like to use choir like vocals. By that I mean there’s some unison singing, but some harmonies too. Sort of like Mates of State.

There’s a bit of twang and dirge as on (You Don’t Want To Be) In the Doghouse With Your Cat (come on, you have to like a song with a title like that) but there are some pop sounds too.

Interrupted Again reminds me of the beach. It conjures up mental images of Giget in a bikini doing the Jose and the Pussycats dance (anyone know what that’s called?).

I like the cover art on this one too.

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The other day Larry Levy sent me a copy of his band's latest album.  The name of the record is Camouflage Baby.  It's their fourth album  and by far their best.  In a one sentence summary, they have finally gotten it right.

This album takes a few listens to get into, but once there it is infectious.  Think of The Byrds, fronted by Siouxie with Yo Yo Ma and Magic Dick sitting in.  I know that sounds schizophrenic but it really works.

The Histrioniks are all good players.  The guitars have a melodic neo-1960s sound that I like.  While Cat's vocals at times are sneering.  Add in rock solid drums and a bass that does its job and you have the makings of  very good, simple, rock and roll.  When you add Mark Wenner's smoking blues harp and Chad Parker's cello with Amy Shulkin's violin you have an outstanding album.

I really like ten of the eleven tracks on the album.  My personal favorites are:

 

  1. The title track. I dig that harp!
  2. My World is Empty without You – the guitar is really nice and I like the staggered drums.  I'm reminded of the Police.
  3. Women Are – The bass is just so groovy while the drums and guitar play a laid back jam and Cat sneers.
  4. Doghouse – I don't quite understand what the lyrics mean but I LOVE the back and fourth between the harp and violin. All the while the bass and drums lay down a fantastic groove.
I wholeheartedly recommend this album.
Check out their website www.thehistrioniks.com/


Grouch rating 4 out of 5 scowls.

November 1st, 2010

John "the Grouch" Niendorf

 
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Camouflage Baby – The Histrioniks (CatErratic Records)

This is a kind of fearless indie pop, a nervous lyrical artist
vibrating up against the normal, their songs a blur in the sunshine, maybe visiting
the now from some harsher darker suburbia, it’s the sound of stoplights ignored,
distilled into a brittle modern dance, too sharp to fit into what passes now as
American punk, it reminds me of the raw honest Replacements,(not quite so
shabby ) or perhaps that ragged beautiful Exene led X, though by now the band
has a distinctive mood-sound all of their own, instantly familiar to those who
have loved earlier collections. When I try to pinpoint the secret that sets
this band apart, I think, there is a love of Brit-pop refinement within the
songwriting that lifts it away from the slacker easy alternative, so the dirt within
is not thrown at you but has to be dug for.

While listening to this, I am taken back to earlier this week and a curious
hopeful search for good indie American tunes, and getting song after song of
either ancient hard rock dressed up in new glitter, or soft adult orientated
whimpers pretty much designed by boardroom committees. Thank goodness then for the
arrival of the Camouflage Baby.

This set strays from the powerpop of previous installments in that it
flirts rather madly with the blues and stripped down country rock, but again, strangely,
its country rock as heard, seen, played by outsiders, and this is a very good
thing, cause it gives the tunes shiny hooks and angles, a welcome distortion of
the facts.

And that is the very essence of a Histrioniks release (and never more so
than this child) it doesn’t really belong neatly in any one genre, within any
too structured playlist, it is the stranger at the dinner table, the welcome uninvited
guest.

Stand out track out of a bunch of standout tunes,  is the ghost-dance called ‘The Last Three Days’
where the male and female voices blend and shiver outwards together and haunt
the airwaves.

Martin Smit (NBT) October , 2010

Songs from both these albums will be played on the NBT podcast going out
on the 21st of October 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com

 

The Histrioniks Camouflage Baby (CatErratic) A mixed bag of sounds from this trio. Angst rock, bluesy folk shuffles, hokey jokey novelty songs, fun catchy garage pop, edgy satirical feminism, casual surrealism, eerie chamber music musings, and some mild mannered experimentalism. They have a low key, understated sound over all. A mix of male and female vocalists and acoustic and electrified instrumentation. 

George Parsons 
Dream Magazine #10



 

Third time is the charmer and so it is with "Thin" - here's what people are saying!

(In Chronological Order)

 

Thin: The Histrioniks
(CatErratic)

By Gary Pig Gold

http://www.garypiggold.com


    It may be the spell of a gray winter storm

outside in New Jersey as I write this today, but

the new Histrioniks CD just may be the best

possible thing that could have come along this

afternoon.

    Now this Baltimore band may look pretty damn

wholesome on their website, but on their third disc

the gloves immediately come off with Song Number

One, “Drama Queen,” which sports a vintage REM

rhythmic attack with one killdozer of a sweet

chorus made all the more deceptively delightful by

Cat Levy’s sneering, sinewy vocals. And this more

or less sets the tone for the remaining half hour:

Production throughout which is spacious yet

integrated in its power; as close to an authentic,

rip-snorting off the pavement “live” sound as I’ve

heard in far too long. And Cat forever veering atop

it all - sometimes quite violently so - in tones

which range from a whisper to the , well,

histrionic. In the case of “Out Of The In Crowd”

and especially “Too Black,” often within the same

several bars!
  

  Most special attention, and praise, must also

be paid to Larry Levy’s accompaniment. His guitars

sport a fantastic Neil young vs. Dexter Romweber

tension, always supplying a granite-solid base in

the rhythm, yet perfectly well-placed and

unobtrusive with the lead lines. His drumming too

is a marvel throughout, particularly whenever

braving to leave the snare behind on “Dirt Don’t

Die” and the adventurous indeed “Miss.”

    But this all would have amounted to mere cake

icing had it not been for the songwriting itself,

which reaches a most confident peak with “My Blue,”

a piece of wicked pop danger wholly worthy of that

first Blondie album. And on the subject of circa

’76 New York City, “Dead Again” honestly has to be

the most intriguing song Television never did get

around to writing.

    An album nicely sequenced to end with a

three-and-a-half-minute instrumental reprise of a

previous song (great idea, by the way) leaves me

only to say that this band just has to get up to

Hamilton, Ontario to play with Canada’s one and

only Simply Saucer some day real, real soon.

    So for all those who may be wont to despair, or

possibly even poo-pooh over the current state of

“indie-rock” affairs, may I suggest spending your

next wintry afternoon with The Histrioniks. All

will soon sound much, much better as a result.  

          (CatErratic Records, Baltimore, MD 21209 / www.thehistrioniks.com)

The Histrioniks - Thin

The Histrioniks - Thin

Album Details

 

No Wave Power Pop? Sludge Surf? Histrioniks buzz their way through many a twisting musical catalouge on their way to sound completely their own. "Thin" is their third release, and there has been a progression from a folk-ish debut to a more trad rock feel to ,now, a sound that is fun but menacing. "Drama Queen" opens up with a dirge-like invocation of the bad girl, then drifts into harmonies so positive and bright you feel slightly jarred. That is the point; Histioniks expect to test themselves, so why not you too?

While you can have fun genre spotting surf in the title track, a 50s shuffle in "My Blue"-the band is not merely throwing a sorts of shit against that wall to see what sticks or to appear cool. They ARE cool precisely because all their moods and colors work. This is inspired, uncomfortable and smart. The guitar/drum duo of Cat and Larry Levy have a confidence and sense of the dramatic that takes most songs to dizzying heights of emotion. "Too Black" and "Dirt Don't Die" are ominous and epic, but never overreaching; the emotional honesty makes them eerie in ways emo or metal could never be. "Thin" is a stunning record full of ideas and soul. Fans of jagged guitar and urban blues need dig in ASAP.

Artist: The Histrioniks

CD: Thin

Home: Maryland

Style: Garage/Pop/Psychedelic Rock

Quote: "Here’s to hoping The Histrioniks make history."

By Dan MacIntosh

Indie-Music.com

Posted December 6th, 2008

Hearing The Histrioniks is love at first listen. This is a garage rock trio fronted by an expressive female singer. And like Garbage and The Raveonettes before them, it is also extremely exciting girl rock & roll.

First of all, the singer’s name is Cat Levy. Any singer named Cat is worth a listen, even if she turns out to be awful. But in most cases (see also Cat Power) girls with that particular name turn out to be pretty cool. Even Catwoman, from the Batman comic, is really hip, and I don't think she ever sings a lick. Thus, Cat is a fairly reliable clue of artistic greatness.

I’m guessing Cat and Larry Levy are husband and wife. And when you look at their pictures on The Histrioniks website, they look like your typical, nice nightclub patrons. But this is nevertheless dark, albeit groovy dark, music. Songs like "Dead Again" even give it a kind of Goth vibe in places. Elsewhere, however, Cat brings to mind great rock singers of the past. The longing in her voice during "My Blue" conjures up visualizations of the pioneering Blondie’s Deborah Harry, for example.

It’s easy and probably lazy music journalism to focus only on Cat Levy. That’s because Larry Levy brings so much to the table. He composed and arranged all this music, and also plays rhythm guitar, lead guitar, drums and percussion on this CD. Just dig the handclap rhythm of "Dirt Don’t Die," along with its Link Wray guitar twang! This trio is rounded out by Dave Powers, who plays bass guitar throughout.

The Histrioniks are also a trio with more than just style over substance going for it. The back cover of this disc features a skinny nude woman. It's there, not out of prurient interest, however -- especially when you read the lyrics to this disc’s title track, which are printed on the CD booklet. The song concerns a woman who is unhealthily obsessed with staying thin. "Manipulation is my trade, purging my humility for my victory of thin." Ironically, the music to it is a quickstep surf-rock backdrop, which might make you miss the heavy impact of this song's message the first time through.

The whole idea of being happy with one with one’s self, and simply fitting in, is further explored through "Out Of The In Crowd" where Cat sings, "Yesterday, I was so popular, today I’m just a bore." Cat both vocalizes this confessional lyric, and speaks/shouts its chorus. This is serious stuff.

The Histrioniks is one of those groups that must be heard by all self-respecting music listeners. Here’s to hoping The Histrioniks make history.

 

 

 CD REVIEW: The Histrioniks - Thin
By Chip Withrow - 08/06/2008 - 09:47 AM EDT

Artist: Band: Histrioniks
Album: Thin
Website: http://www.the histrioniks.com
Genre: Alternative Rock
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Shattered Youth, My Blue, Dead Again, Nervous Shakedown
CD Review: Just your usual surf/gypsy/punk/Latin/power pop reverb-drenched joyride – that’s what the Histrioniks take you on with Thin.

 

The duo of Larry Levy (guitar, percussion, chief songwriter) and bassist Dave Powers provide the sonic oomph, and Cat Levy provides sublimely angsty alto vocals. Think Velvet Underground/Lou Reed grit spiced with X's (or even the Go-Gos') early punky attitude.

“Drama Queen” is a unique, ethereal-yet-insistent opener. Cat’s layered vocals and Larry’s biting guitar are striking. The title cut that follows is a thrashing romp, and then comes a cool twist: the charming, ‘50s girl group-like, almost twangy “My Blue.”

“Shattered Youth” is a blast, almost a sing-along, in spite of (or maybe even due to) the desperate theme. “Dead Again” is powerful – crunchy flamenco guitar building into a big swooping chorus.

“Nervous Shakedown” is a massive shot of power chords, with more delightfully haunting vocals. The urgent “Out Of the In Crowd” is defiant, almost uplifting – and too short. And the biggest, boldest guitar salvo of all is the closing instrumental “Misery (Reprise).”

This is not cheery music – go back and re-read some of the song titles. But the Histrioniks’ Thin is rocking, and often anthemic and beautiful. It is a worthy follow-up to last year’s About This Girl.

 

 

THE HISTRIONIKS (Baltimore, Maryland, USA) "NERVOUS SHAKEDOWN". Larry, Cat and Dave have come up with a grittier, garagier album this time around. "THIN" has dense songs with striking guitar work, signature Cat vocals and exposed-nerve lyrics that-- in total-- remind me of pre-New Wave songs you might hear at CBGB's club circa 1977....Richard Filaccio (founder/artist The Pop League) July 22, 2008

 

The guitar pop of the Histrioniks have much in common with the Garage Rock Revival movement. Like a lot of other bands with echoing fuzz guitar leads and tambourine (like the Cynics and the Ugly Beats) they can be traced down to the late sixties. Now add to this mix the Lene Lovich-like vocals of Cat Levy. What comes out isn't as retro sounding as Outrageous Cherry, but the organic minimalist quality of the songs make good listening. Immediately you'll recognize this is great Beatnik pop music highlighted by the amazing "Too Black" with furiously pounding drums, monster guitar rhythms and Cat's spoken/sung lyrics about suffocating memories "too black to see in." The album is consistently good, "Shattered Youth" has elements of dance pop, and very much in the spirit of the B-52's (without all that shiny optimism). The mystical "Miss" enters a more goth place and lovers of Bauhaus will appreciate the mope rock lyrics of "Misery." The guitar work here is so compelling you get a reprise at the albums end. Well crafted, "Thin" is the epitome of music for a smokey dark room.

 

Aaron Kupferberg

July 16th, 2008

www.powerpopaholic.com

 

 

Oh

 The thrill of the melodic Jagged.

 

This is a collection of wonderful contradictions. The shivering darkness within wrapped in the warmth of sunlight on a colourful ice-cream wrapper strewn boardwalk.

The Drama Queen struts cloaked in subtle distortion and reverb, an almost blur of smiles and sways, pop songs for the happily nervous.

Then the Title Track. A tale of self-destruction perhaps, inviting us to join in rather than look away. A nightmare that comforts as it dismays.

This is Blondie daring To be fragile.

Then the sunlight fades and in ‘Too Black’ we are taken into twisted fairy tale witch mood, naked memory, slinking obsession, the storm isn’t too far from breaking.

Musically there are hints of new wave flirting with punk fucking the darkest parts of acid folk.

Harmony and Discord, catchy as wicked grins.

Hold hands and join the circle of ‘Miss’ there is magic reflected, refracted, all is not what it seems.

Oh the Thrill.

Like the very best of The Throwing Muses, this is a box of breakdown and release, of the personal and the hidden, thrown together and POP-musically Bound.

Martin Smit

NextBigThing, July 2008

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

 

 

We got your hungry, CD, the Histrioniks, Thin. Thanks for sending it! Great edgy, punk alt surf punk. Trio with a brit pop meets Ravonettes meets the Bangles raw, layered sound. Finally! Thin, the ultimate ode to bulimia anorexia. Brill stuff!  This album would play beautifully on college radio...or commercial alt mix shows....

 

June Caldwell

Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion

July 2008

 

With great rhythms and vocal performances, this alternative rock band has what it takes to make it big. Similar to the Muse, The Histrioniks have mastered to create an album that has both a familiar but unique sound, making this album stand out of the crowd as it takes what we know to a new level.

 

Track 2: Thin This song sums up the rest of the album with its great melody and an exquisite vocal performance with lyrics that will really get you thinking.

 

Track 5 : Shattered Youth With upbeat rhythms and beats that will get stuck in your head for hours, this track complements the voice of Cat Levy

 

Track 12: Misery (Reprise) This song is jam packed with such musical perfection and with great emphasis on each instrument that truly compile a masterpiece

 

Reviewed by Jaclyn Ecker, Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion

July 2008

 

 

The Histrioniks new CD "Thin"  is anything but! Thick and gooey it channels 60's surfer psychedelia manic pop rock with a slightly sinister edge that intertwines perfectly with Cat's decidedly dark lyrics. One listen will leave you wondering when the movie will be completed for this sublime soundtrack!

 

Annette Conlon

'Nette Radio

www.netteradio.com

June 2008

 

It sounds like a good indie album should sound:
edgy and original, with tons of character and vibe.

Steve Sechi

KK Music

June 2008

 

Hey man, listen to what they are saying about "About This Girl"!

 

July, 2007

 

CD REVIEW: The Histrioniks - About This Girl
By Chip Withrow - 07/24/2007 - 11:24 AM MDT

Artist: Histrioniks
Album: About This Girl
Website: http://www.the histrioniks.com
Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: X, Breeders
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Perpendicular, Anger Cherry, Woman of the Tunes
CD Review: Sometimes I tell my high school students how great it is to broaden one’s horizons. Yet when it comes to the music I listen to, lately I am often guilty of lacking adventure and wrapping myself in mellow bliss.

 

But the Histrioniks’ About This Girl reminds me that I used to rock – really, I did. The disc is a fresh sonic blast for these ears, and it conjures memories of some of my favorites from my edgier days: the great LA punk/Americana outfit X in the ‘80s; the intense Breeders of the ‘90s; the slightly sinister, minor-key surf music that I first discovered on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack; and the band that made many others possible, the Velvet Underground.

Larry Levy is one half of the Histrioniks duo and he wrote most of the songs; he’s also the main guitarist (and a wickedly good one) and drummer. Singer Cat Levy (who also wrote a couple of the songs) has an ethereal, flexible voice that is well-suited for these oddly catchy tracks because, as the duo’s website explains, the album is meant to be excerpts from a girl’s diary.

Opening cut “Underneath It All” explodes off the album. It’s a big, bold dose of power pop – breakneck drums, thrashed guitars, and absolutely heavenly harmonies (Cat’s voice multi-tracked, I assume). “Whiskers A Go-Go” follows and keeps the feverish pace; it’s noteworthy for endearingly weird lyrics (cat references abound) and Larry’s reverb-soaked guitar.

Perhaps the best song on the disc is the spectral and absolutely infectious “Perpendicular.” A haunting chorus, swooping organ, Cat’s shimmering harmonies … brilliant.  The surf-punky “Woman of the Tunes” and the punchy “Anger Cherry” (which also has that riding-the-waves vibe) are just about as good.

Other treats are the nursery-rhyme, sing-songy “Fingers in the Rain;” the lyrically clever, erotic “My Name Was Yes;” the soulful ode to dominance and submission “Dominique;” and the new wave/flamenco (check out Larry’s acoustic solo) “Gone.”

Thanks, Histrioniks, for shaking me out of my rut and reminding me that a fresh dose of 2007 rock can remind me of so much great music I had forgotten about.



 

June, 2007

 

"Great CD!  Very Jefferson Airplane type sound on a lot of tracks.  I'll defintely be playing Woman of the Tunes and My Name Was Yes (and probably a few others).  
 
Congrats on putting out such quality and authentic music!  I always appreciate listening to musicians who do it from their hearts!"
 
Bill Futreal (The Rock and Roll Show)
 

 

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Histrioniks - Fingers In The Rain

“lamppost leaning solitude/nighttime falls like sin” – poetry. Aural adventure. With rock tale flavor. “short dress black with ruffled edge/tight against her waist/every stitch of inner strength/is nowhere on her face.” And you’re wondering – can one move, dance, sway with poetry? Yes. Doubly so. Five Seven Five Haiku Rhythm swaying in the rain. “The dreamer and the dreamt upon/play an unreal game/the sender and the sent upon/never are the same.” Still not convinced? “In the kitchen hell broke loose/lovers they became/showered down with hope and tears/like fingers in the rain.” Have a second helping of fine tiramisu with maple topping while listening to Woman Of The Tunes. Rich Stevenson, Eartaste

http://www.eartaste.com

 

 Quote: "A gritty look at coming of age with all the turmoil and mood swings you’d expect from a story about the teenage years."

By
Charles Martin

“I popped my anger cherry, Pop!”

A great line that typifies what goes so right with this indie roots rock offering from The Histrioniks entitled About This Girl.

The two-person group was more subdued on their debut album, but for their follow-up, they put down the acoustic guitars and plugged into the amps, hoping to give their sound more oomph. The result is a gritty look at coming of age with all the turmoil and mood swings you’d expect from a story about the teenage years. Its not unadulterated angst though; the melodies are simple, the songs are fun, and the vocals never devolve into growls and screams ... unlike the teenage years.

The aforementioned lyric from the song “Anger Cherry” taps into classic surf rock for a curiously playful song about God knows what.

“Whiskers A Go-Go” shows how far the group is plunging into the early rock and roll shtick, and it suits them well. The songwriter, Larry Levy, knows how to sell the image too, with wonderfully kitschy lines such as “This cat is like the cat’s meow.”

The few missteps on the album are the result of the group falling back into their earnest singer/songwriter mode, such as on “Picture Perfect Disrepair” which slows the album’s bouncing melodies to a dreary crawl.

A little reinvention can do wonders for a band, and with some resilient touring and a few extra musicians to help with the backing vocals and rhythm section, The Histrioniks should reap the rewards of their new sound.

http://www.indie-music.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5532

 

A review by Trevor McCabe from Lost Music (UK)

 

The Histrioniks name check bands like The Donnas and The B-52's (amongst others). I can see where they are coming from. Nowhere as quirky as the B-52's and not as 'rock' as The Donnas. But 'About This Girl' treads the line between being an upbeat and fun sounding bubblegum punk rock and something more sinsister.

It's not at all one dimensional either - there are enough highs and lows crammed into the 38 minutes. It has me hooked. At it's most throwaway it reminds me of Helen Love ('Whiskers A Go-Go' and 'Underneath It All') but the real beauty here is that these songs sit well with the less obvious songs such as - 'Fingers In The Rain' and 'Perpendicular'. Which remind me a little of the Throwing Muses, although a little less hard edged. Or something.

The band have a few MP3s for download from their website. You know what needs to be done! Give them a listen, you'll not be disappointed. I promise.

So yes, after only a few listens I am hooked by The Histrioniks. A pleasant surprise to receive something this good through the post.

http://www.lostmusic.co.uk/

 A review by Amy Lotsberg, producer of Collected Sounds

First of all, how great is the name Histrioniks?

I reviewed the debut CD from this band back in 2005 and I liked it quite a bit. It was odd and hard to describe, but I liked it.

This album is quite different from that one. But you know what? I like it even more. And I'm not just saying that because they thanked me in their liner notes. Honestly.

As with the last one, it's a little hard to describe, which is why I suggest listening to the samples (and why I love CDBaby so much for offering this). So instead of trying to describe it, I'll just say what I like about it. There's something so fun about these songs. You can't help but wiggle a little in your office chair…or barstool. The melodies are interesting and intricate. The performances are charming and very well done. This band is very talented.

"Whiskers A Go-Go" has a bit of a 60s beach music feel to it. In fact many of the songs do.

"I'm So Lonely' is downright haunting. Love it.

This is just a really well thought out, well-executed, and above all fun record and I hope the Histioniks continue to put out unique and interesting music for the discerning ear.

Posted on November 18, 2006

 http://www.collectedsounds.com/cdreviews/aboutthisgirl.html

 

 

 That's cool, but hey, don't forget about "Homesick From The Grave"!

The post-Christmas sales are in full swing, and our eartaste friend is ready with a power taste acoustic guitar. “I see shoes and I go crazy/had to shop until I drop!/I was full/and then I’m empty/never knew just when to stop.” To be honest, the song is really not about shopping, but then, what does shopping symbolize? I love this: “try and feed me/try and need me/I might let you lick my plate.” Some of this poem is pitch blackberry eartaste: “I sit outside on a cold winter night/all alone in the dark”. Some of the poem is light fluffy cool whip eartaste: “Sun and earth revolve around me/my tattoos have left a scar.” But these mood changes only make sense as we recall the title of the song. We met the Histrioniks through their second CD a few weeks back, but is a great pleasure to dig in and find satisfaction in their first CD as well.  Rich Stevenson, Eartaste 2006

http://www.eartaste.com

 
I really enjoyed "Homesick From The Grave". Excellent guitar work. The tremelo on "Sirena" is perfect. Beautiful vocals, rich harmonies, lots of texture. The lyrics are deep and very introspective. The music connects with the listener on an empathetic level......

not an easy task.........but flawlessly executed. Great job! Definitely two thumbs up!

 Duke

http://www.surfrockradio.com

http://www.surfrockmusic.com

 

Just when you think you aren't going to hear anything new, unique, you hear a few in one week. This CD is one of those. I can't even begin to give you comparisons because to my knowledge there aren't any. This is an interesting and unique recording.

 

Amy Lotsberg, Producer

Collected Sounds

www.collectedsounds.com/cdreviews/homesickfrom.html

 

 Interesting new-folk, cool, dark and very mellow. Acoustic girl-goddess rock strangeness. Captivating! Enthralling!

 

Hybrid Magazine, May 2005

 

 Ezra Pound wrote in his "ABC of Reading" that " Poetry falters when it strays too far from music; and music falters when it strays too far from dance."  That said, it is still a difficult job to put poetry to music. There are many failed attempts to illustrate this point; however, The Histrioniks have succeeded by not only putting Larry Levy's poetry to music, but to actually create an album of excellent songs. Perhaps it is because Larry's musical involvement with The Swiv-o-matics that his poetry does not stray far from music. Or, perhaps it his wife Cat's sincere interpretation of the poetry in her singing. I cannot imagine anyone else singing these songs as well.

I didn't want to write about these songs until I completely understood them; however, I now realize that won't happen. Each time I listen to this CD I hear new things. Consequently, the imagery continues to evolve. I'm glad that The Histrioniks didn't make it easy by printing the words because the poetry in these songs is so good. This CD should be listened to rather than being read along with. The dramatic changes in the songs, Cat's singing and Larry's great guitar playing all highlight both the introspective nature of the songs as well as the worldly view, tempered occasionally with humor, contained in them. The juxtaposition of these elements in the songs make them all the more the dramatic.

I should talk about each song because they warrant the attention but I'll spare you that. Suffice it to say that my wife, my 15 year old daughter and myself are all fans of The Histrioniks. That speaks volumes! In the song, "I Can't Remember When I Died", Cat and Larry sing: "When I was young I was free, and when I am free I am young. But now and then don't seem to coincide, and I can't remember when I died." Thanks to The Histrioniks and to these songs I'm reminded that I can be young whenever I choose and that there are always new things to discover!

 Tom Hinders

Tsunami Soul

WOBC 91.5 FM

http://wobc.org (Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm EST)

http://www.oberlin.edu/staff/thinders/

 

This Baltimore husband and wife team, of Cat and Larry Levy have created an impressive debut CD with "Homesick From The Grave".  A pretty simple formula; Cat sings and did the cover art, and Larry plays his guitars and writes the words and music (he sings on one as well). They are doing a sort of folkish homemade art pop here. Though they admirably don't seem to be aiming at any specific reference points; in various places this brings to mind: early Roches, Throwing Muses, Current 93, Sorrow, Belly, and the Shaggs, without sounding much like any of them.

George Parsons

Dream Magazine #6

http://www.dreamgeo.com

 

 

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