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A review of...

A Hound at The Hem by Slim Twig

A Hound at The Hem
Label:
Date: 
December 1, 2014
Writer: 
Adam Millard
7.0

The gist

Long awaited major release for Slim Twig's insane musical odyssey

The music

Slim Twig is a Toronto based musician, specialising in rather grand theatrical pieces with operatic vocals in the vein of Scott Walker. Fittingly this album already has a bit of a story of its own. A Hound At The Hem is a concept album, a suite based on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, it was also recorded way back in 2010 and self-released on Twig's own Calico Corp label. This shouldn't deter people though, because it's actually quite an accessible offering, which is probably why, four year's later, it's been picked up by the altogether more mainstream DFA records. There are a million comparisons you could make to Slim Twig's music, which flick between early-Pulp, Scott Walker, Killing Joke, David Bowie, The Doors, Serge Gainsbourg, Queen, The Stooges and even Kasabian. Songs can begin as jaunty 60s pop-psychedelia and end in operatic madness. The interest lies in the fact that this myriad of influences are squished into individual tracks, as if Twig has some sort of multiple personality disorder. It doesn't always work but there's no way you could be bored by this record. Perplexed maybe, but not bored.

Listen to

"Hover On A Sliver" - if David Bowie had recorded the Gremlins theme tune, it would've definitely sounded exactly like this.

"Heavy Splendour" - the out of tune syth-orchestral opening may sound a bit forced but it makes way for a John Barry-esque score and then a gothic-industrial stomp.