Sound: Get Help's music is both conventional and esoteric slipping in melodies with a fleshy old-west/country-tint reminiscent of Johnny Cash, and numbers that have stunning quartz-like embers reflective of Joy Division on their new album The End Of The New Country. The primary members of Get Help, Tony Shalicky and Mike Ingenthron, take audiences along a musical safari from ambient-rock and modern-folk to avant-pop and bluesy Americana. With Shalicky and Ingenthron trading off on lead vocals, the album keeps audiences guessing where they will take their music next, showing traces of deep introspection in Carne Asada and traits of country-folk twang coursing through Fall In Love To Song. Overall, the album has a lo-fi temperament that raises the roof slightly in the bouncy clattering beats of I Don't Have The Stomach and the furling guitar spins of the title track. The vocals have an underlying brooding that gives the songs a depth of emotion, and the ambient-folk vapors offer a chance to soothe away the tension, which becomes the focus in All Else Fails.
Though the album has recurring doom-and-gloom themes, there is an overcast of hope that shadows the tracks, which gives the listener a feeling of determination to move towards a light that is not visible yet. Maybe it's in the sonic bliss that engulfs General Winter or the expansive tapestry of interweaving guitars and juicy flourishes that create stimulating peaks along the ghostly psychedelics and ambient discharges of It Begins Well. The soft rollicking motions of Red Jacket Orchards thread highs and lows that flow like ocean waves, and the sniveling country-folk acoustics of Punishing Good Deeds empathize with the dull luster of the vocals. The island-tinged beats of Sunlight's Revenge are corset by an ambient-folk breathing showing sensibilities akin to The Minor White, and the ominous echoes and cavernous-tone in the gravelling vocals of Temporary Speed Zone are riled up by a spritz of jumbled guitar chords and an upbeat pulsing which gives listeners a taste of Get Help's ability to be spontaneous and shift their dynamics off the cuff. They make music that they like, and then accent it the way they want, transforming it into songs that are completely of their own making. // 8
Lyrics: Get Help's lyrics are loaded sweltering emotions like in Fall In Love To Song as the words ooze out, I know where you've been / And I know where you're going / The timepiece on your wrist / Is an hourglass full of terrible ideas / I fight the urge / To be your only fool Your promises and lies about when we'll meet again / I've been through all of this / And I'm not so eager to please you anymore / But I'll believe you for a little while / Cuz only you can ease the pain / I don't know how you do it / But it's always never the same / And just not enough, and just not enough. The oozing of emotions does not stop there, but continues in I Don't Have To The Stomach with verses like, For all the love and passion we create / We always seem to pay, we always seem to pay / And when my fantasies should see the light of day / I always seem to wake, I always seem to wake / And when I think about what I've missed / I found that I don't have the stomach for it. // 8
Overall Impression: Get Help have deep and heavy messages in their songs, but they serve it to the listener in easily digestible spoonfuls. You'll end up feeling the weight of reality that outside forces put on your shoulders, but you'll also feel that some day those forces will be working with you, later on down the road. There is a future in Get Help's music, though the present seems bleak. The recurring themes of doom-and-gloom are compensated by themes of holding onto hope, and that determination is the key that opens the door to the future. Shalicky and Ingenthron sound like two lost souls in Get Help who know exactly what they are doing, and how they want to do it. // 8
- Susan Frances aka sweetpeasuzie (c) 2008