Monday, December 5, 2011

Sic Alps Are Sick

With members of Henry's Dress and The Ropers making up indie rock band Sic Alps one would hope that their new project would be a homage to the past that glances forward towards indie pop bliss. Unfortunately, as proven by their album, Napa Asylum, what Sic Alps have done is regressed! The group have ended up with something that is neither blissful nor indie pop. Instead what Sic Alps have created on Napa Asylum is a no-fi teenage bedsit anthem to nothing.

Napa Asylum is an album that's so cheap sounding and so under produced it almost sounds as if it were pieced together using a Fisher Price studio kit bought at Wal Mart. Within about five minutes of the twenty two songs that make up this record I was left scratching my head wondering what happened to the pop majesty that the members of this band used to make. Rather than jaunty, jangly, noisy pop we're treated to fragile, half pieced together, acoustic folk rock that comes off as though it was recorded in a garage somewhere in Lake City. Sic Alps are nothing like the bands that it evolved from and while there are the occasional nods to their stately past, the members of this group seem lost in some sort of drugged out folk haze.

Quite simply, Napa Asylum isn't good. This is an album that's just so fragmented, depressing, downtrodden, under produced and missing any sense of fun. In listening to Napa Asylum I couldn't help but wonder if these guys were OK and more importantly were they even able to write fun songs anymore. I'm not sure of the answer to either of those questions. I tried guys, but I can't get my head around something that sounds like it was recorded for a dollar at a manic depressive convention; maybe that's why they named the album...Napa Asylum?

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