The Big Takeover # 41
the forbidden ep
Idaho wastes no time releasing this five-song EP after parting ways with Caroline Records, following the expiration of a three-album deal with that label. Recording for a smaller outfit, Buzz, the group itself is also slightly smaller, as only leader JEFF MARTIN and inventive guitarist DAN SETA remain from the L.A. quartet that made the knockout Three Sheets to the Wind LP last year. That truly remarkable LP blew away their previous, already respectable catalog. Accordingly, The Forbidden can’t match the breath, the sucked-in air, the mix of riveting tension and endless spaces of time that the previous LP had. And it neglects the heart-pounding louder roar of songs such as “Pomegranate Bleeding.”
But a brighter, prettier, and friendlier Idaho is just as striking. The opening “The Thick and the Thin” and the sparkling “Gold-enseal” display playful guitar trills that might have been unthinkable previously, without lightening the undercurrents that are now Idaho’s fantastic, spectacular signature. “Hold Everything” and the sinister quiet of the acoustic “Apricots to Armagnac” chill like the drip of water in a dark cave.
Best of all, the final song “Bass Crawl” is a stunner (just as Three Sheets closed with the tantalizing, incredibly billowing, “Get You Back”). It’s a slow, seductive, provocative bit of creaking and shuddering that is commanded by a trembling, repeating guitar pattern and a lurking, sneaky bass line that booms and rumbles so menacingly that it actually blew out the woofers on my acquaintance DAVE rawson’s speakers. He became carried away with the languid, ruminating ambiance of this music, and he turned up his stereo so loud that his floor vibrated. Yes, that’s what this EP can do. (1936 W. Thomas, Chicago, IL 60622; email@example.com)