Not a record likely to benefit from the seasonal record store gift rush, this debut album from an LA duo is too intensely sad to be bought as anything more than an intimate self-indulgence. As such, it provides moments as moving as they are morose in the shape of singer/bassist Jeff Martin’s rich, dolorous tenor and the sculptured power-chords of guitarist John Berry, rolling by like storm clouds on a darkening horizon. Such gorgeous, grim sadness becomes weirdly wholesome and satisfying at times, as on the patiently paced, slowly building and bleakly beautiful Skyscrape or the brisker, almost sprightly Save. Economically arranged and beautifully produced, it’s taken Idaho the best part of seven years to commit their music to record. Maybe next time around someone will throw them a party.
*** David Roberts