February 11, 2012
Be Prepared: Geoff Farina | The Wishes Of The Dead | 5 March
Mind alteringly anachronistic and pure music from former leader of Boston-bred, jazz-inflected, post-punk powerhouse Karate, The Wishes Of The Dead is Geoff Farina's first solo record in a decade. The rootsy album, written while Mr. Farina lived in rural Maine after his wife's one-year teaching contract at Colby College concluded, features songs placid and troubled, their spare settings (no rhythm section) situating the compositions within large expanses in which trouble recedes into ripples among chiming guitar accompaniment. The trouble is instant, but Farina's incisive lyrics and dry voice provide a reporter's detached vantage. It's a familiar, entrancing vocal style that Mr. Farina has used to confide in the listener since the earliest Karate recordings. That paired with the guitar virtuoso and music scholar's vibrant and intricate acoustic guitar tracks makes The Wishes Of The Dead a consistently rich and rewarding collection. The set was mastered by Bob Weston and is being released in the UK by Damnably March 5 on CD and digital download. The first single from the collection is "Hammer And Spade," which charms with its simple vocal harmonies and housefly-on-a-hot-day slide guitar. The single will include two live tracks, the traditional "St. Anne's Reel" and the Secret Stars' "Not About A Birthday" (Farina, in addition to his tenure in Karate, among other things was also was a principal in Secret Stars). As an aside, we'll say that seeing Karate in its early four-piece formation playing a basement at Wesleyan University Feb. 26, 1997 is still one of the best shows we've ever seen. We have three SoundCloud embeds below for your perusal. Pre-order The Wishes Of The Dead from Damnably right here.