Hideout From the Feeders
Aloe Music, 2013
Review by Kent Manthie
Steven Ross, based out of Oxford, Mississippi, is the main man of ILLLS. The interesting thing about the close-knit indie-rock music community in Oxford is that it’s not all about “Southern-Fried” rock. But then again, that stereotype has been sort of thrown to the wind, if you look at places like Athens, GA, the home of REM, who was once a great band; their last great album being the first release they recorded for a major label (Warner Bros. Records); up until then, REM were on I.R.S. Records, when they made some awesome music: Reckoning, Murmur, Fables of the Reconstruction making up their best efforts. Similarly, the B-52s made a few decent records in their early career, but really fell far, most likely, after the tragic death of guitarist and brother of singer Cindy Wilson, Ricky Wilson. In the here and now, Athens, GA has brought us the remarkable of Montreal, whose brand new release, Lousy With Sylvanbriar, just out on Polyvinyl Records, will be reviewed here, on INDEPENDENT REVIEW soon.
Well, that aside, I want to focus on the pleasing aura of music on Hideout From the Feeders. I started listening to this album from song one all the way through the end in one sitting and the whole thing was a seamlessly put together 10 songs. “Our Shadow” starts it out, which, not from any unique or jarring sounds, pricks up one’s ears and it keeps on going in that vein.
I wouldn’t say that Hideout… is a unique or archetypal album; there are definitely a few sounds that harken back to sounds of various bands and music that have come before. Not that it goes WAY back, like to the early times, where terms like “unique” were used in the way it’s supposed to be used – viz. there is no way to modify the word “unique” – you can’t say “very unique” or “more unique”, etc. Something is either unique or it isn’t. Unique means, literally, that there is nothing else like it, no matter what it is you’re assigning that descriptive.
Other songs on here like “Coma” as well as “Wales”, “Interlude” and the closing tune, “In the Woods” are good examples of the greatness of this albums.
About a year ago ILLLS released an EP that was on the now-defunct UK indie label, The Sounds of Sweet Nothing. Then, after a little change up in the band’s personnel, Steven got his stuff together ready for his moving up the ladder and what eventually became Hideout From the Feeders on Aloe Music. I really can’t write any opinion on that EP, not having heard it. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a great portent of things to come.
What really rings through Hideout… is the ringing guitars that shimmer throughout as well as 4AD-sounding, “hushed” tone vocals, but, of course, done by Americans (gee, I really miss those days, mostly in the 80s, of the fascinating music that came out of the wonderful English label, 4AD.
Now, that’s my take on it. Why don’t YOU go out and get a copy? If you are going to try to find it in a record store, well, thank goodness, nowadays, you’re only choice is to go to independent record stores, since all the chain record stores – Tower, Sam Goody, The Wherehouse and any other ones because of the rise of web-based stores such as Amazon.com, which counts on the aforementioned indie record stores to bring you, the music lover, just about anything you can think of. Whenever an album I used to have or have wanted to get for a while now that is a really obscure release and would be very hard to find at any of the former chain stores (except, maybe for Tower, which, I must admit, did have a good selection, unlike the other mentioned ones), I just go onto Amazon.com and type in the search area the album and artist/band that I’m looking for and 99 times out of 100 (at least) are there.
If you want to go somewhere else, I’d recommend CDBaby.com or Aloe Music’s website, which would be http://www.aloemusic.org –KM.