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coverpic flag US - Georgia - Full Moon 34 - 07/28/99

Fission, Romance, The West
Paris Caramel

As the total opposite to Mr. Hefner's "Bunny business", Unbunny seems to be the project of NH born, now residing in California, Jarid Del Deo. Fission, Romance, The West presents folk pop/rock of the raw but gentle type, taped to a 4-track recorder, being sort of a geographical tour of the US with titles like Texas, Massachusetts, and Oregon. By choosing J. Del Deo as your guide you'll have an interesting tour with another view of parts of the USA.

The album holds a quite simple instrumentation, meaning (mainly) acoustic guitars, a bass, a small drum kit (snare, bass, some hi-hat, maybe one cymbal, and a cow-bell), plus some piano, a bassoon, and violins. Fission... is a collection of 13 pieces of music, of which Del Deo has written all but one (an instrumental tune), and he is credited playing treble. The music is sort of coming through a thin veil of sadness. Not sadness that leaves one sad, but sadness more of a good mooded tristesse type. Comfortable melancholy through fragile, but yet dazzling songs. Imagine Simon & Garfunkel being replaced by Elliott Smith and Dean Wareham (in the song I Hate Air there's even a line that goes: "If I was in Galaxie 500, I would play Tugboat for you!"), or Neil Young writing songs for a weird coalition between Camper van Beethoven and the Gerbils.

There are enough good songs on Fission... to recommend it. I've already mentioned the three "state" songs, of which Massachusetts is the winner this time, followed by Texas, with Oregon (with "Ore-go, Ore-going, Ore-gone" as the final line) on third. Some of the other highlights are Who Needs the Light with its oriental sounding violin and guitar, the laid-back electricity of This Time of Year, the quick balled Thin Sable Luv, and the harsh and bitter My Hometown. The conclusion is: one fine album for body and mind.

Copyright © 1999 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Unbunny article/review: Snow Tires.

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