The story behind Indian Casino Records, the home of Transient Songs, is a strange one. According to the website for the label, the creator, Jack Bensonhurst, randomly decided that he would start a record label if he could win any money at the local tribal casino. As luck would have it, he hit it big. Now, his Indian Casino label is a home for all sorts of eclectic indie rock.
Cave Syndrome is one of the latest recordings on the label and for fans of the style mentioned above, it doesn't disappoint. It's full of moody, sweeping rock that recalls larger names such as Iron and Wine. There is a distant quality to the vocals and modest production values that somehow evoke caves. Purposefully drowned-out sounds display a mellow introspection that's intimate enough to make one imagine sitting around a campfire as the band is playing.
Transient Songs uses a variety of instruments that blend exceptionally well with each other, including cello, shaker, violin, viola, and ebow. These are all tied together by the doomy guitar accents.
The songs reside in a strange area between mainstream accessibility and underground specialization. Nothing in the structures is too far out of the ordinary and some of the melodic lines are catchy, but the extra instrumentation and production make it more of an acquired taste, at least for those used to bouncier rock. Most of the songs seem unusually short as well, as if they're short soliloquies in a play. However, this was more than likely a stylistic choice of minimalism, as for this type of music, the brevity works. Transient Songs aren't out there to create fist-pumping anthems, but quiet, reflective poems that show you their meaning and are over with. (7.9/10)
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