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Hush Arbors - Hush Arbors

  by Andrew Carver

published: 6 / 12 / 2008

Hush Arbors - Hush Arbors
Label: Ecstatic Peace
Format: CD


Surprisingly oftena brasive alternative folk from Hush Arbors, the project of Virginian musician Keith Wood who has on this album collaborated with Six Organs of Admittance and Comets on Fire guitarist Ben Chasny

Keith Wood is the chief hand behind Hush Arbors. His music traces its lineage through English folk performers like the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention, takes a few twists off the road in the 80s and ends up snuggled up next to outfits like Steven Wray Lobdell, Six Organs of Admittance and Wooden Wand. He’s already collaborated with the latter on his previous album ‘Landscape of Bone’; for his debut on the Ecstatic Peace label he’s joined by Six Organs of Amittance and Comets on Fire guitarist Ben Chasny. Listeners expecting summer field acoustic guitar strumming though may be put off by the first track, which kicks things off by dishing up a fret-burning fuzzfest worthy of an Acid Mothers Temple album. After little more than a minute-and-a-half, ‘Water’is closely followed by ‘Follow Closely’, which does feature some brisk strumming, along with some single-note electric guitar and Wood’s alto (which sounds at points a bit like Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe). The centre of the piece is a particularly stinging solo from Chasny. The finger-picked intro ‘Rue Hollow’ sounds a little more like someone who’s been compared ad nauseam to Bert Jansch, with talk of “dark hollows” and messages to lost lovers. ‘Gone’ charts a similarly melancholy course, but takes a more amplified route. It’s once again reminiscent of the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s folkier material. ‘Bless You’ ratchets things back again, with some high pitched picking contrasted by both picking on the lower strings and the introduction of a fuzzy guitar motif as Woods chants “Bless you girl.” After a couple of more tracks blending those sounds (‘Sand’ is more acoustic, while ‘The Light’ spills a bucket of fuzz before going acoustic on the verses). ‘Water II’ isn’t quite as frenzied as its opening namesake, but it still serves up a heavy helping of guitar distortion It’s easy to see why Hush Arbors has won the admiration of Wooden Wand, Six Organs of Admittance and Current 93, among others. Fans of those acts should have no qualms about getting into Hush Arbors.

Track Listing:-
1 Water
2 Follow Closely
3 Rue Hollow
4 Gone
5 Bless You
6 Sand
7 The Light
8 Water II

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