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Portland Cello Project: "The Thao & Justin Power Sessions"

img  Tobias

Like you, I’m a bit tired of people with cellos trying to break down those mean old barriers and become accepted as rock musicians, but also like you, one part of me says why the hell not, at least they’re not hocking xylophones, like all those indie-tards are doing. Meantime, when a band like A Perfect Circle gets grief from their fans for using cellos, well, don’t use goddamned cellos.

While all this is going on, some people are sick of guitars, I guess, and this group of classically trained Oregonians is all up in that. The album opens with “The Lamb”; since the band or whoever thought I couldn’t be trusted with the CD insert, I don’t know if the draggy little piece is an original or not, but it does have something in common with the opening theme to The Shining (an interpretation of "Dies Irae" by Berlioz, from Symphony Fantastique, if you want to get all snobby and cello-y about things). “Beat (Health Life & Fire)” follows with a Kate Havnevik moonbat-alt-rock thing that actually does work nicely with cellos, this leading into “Cut the Rope,” wherein the ensemble gets all guitar-strummy with their instruments in a Pavement-vs-Decembrists joint. Their girl singer (thanks again for no insert) does Havnevik again in “Tallymarks,” and “Violet” before more woodsy Decembrists shows up in “Hungry Liars.”

Obviously the summary sentence should read “Kate Havnevik and Decembrists on a squishy waterbed,” but instead I’d like to close by saying that I’ve got a soft spot for French horns (and taco-flavor Doritos, which didn’t survive very long).

By Eric Saeger

Homepage: Portland Cello Project
Homepage: Kill Rock Stars Records

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