Butchers Blind: One More Time

Rootsy pop and Americana from the wilds of Long Island

Butchers Blind is a Long Island duo formed from the ashes of the little-known Double Stops. But if these three debut tracks are any indication, Pete Mancini (guitar, vocals, keyboards and lap steel) and Brian Reilly (bass) will soon be making a name for themselves. Their melodies are ingratiating in the way of fine pop records, and Mancini is a vocalist whose vulnerability holds you from the first word. Having borrowed their name from a fictional underground, unsigned band in Wilco’s “The Late Greats” (from 2004’s A Ghost is Born), it’s no surprise that Butchers Blind sounds a bit like Tweedy and company, but more the earlier alt.country darlings than the later shape-shifters.

Perhaps they aspire to the range that Wilco’s adopted, but for now, Mancini and Ross offer music that brings to mind another cult band, Big Star. Their productions have hints of the luxurious sheen John Fry captured at Ardent, with a warmth in their music grown from similar roots. The title track adds Steve Mounier on drums, creating a fuller rock band sound, while the B-sides drift more languidly on guitar, piano and bass. “Something Missing” is a lovely slice of melancholy heartache, and “My Worst Enemy” doesn’t give away whether it’s accounting with a wayward mate or a stern bit of self-loathing sung to the bathroom mirror. Either way, Mancini sells the emotion and the title hook will rattle around your brain for hours.

Mancini and Reilly have produced surprisingly complete tracks as an overdubbed two-piece, but it’s hard to imagine they could reproduce these sounds live without a drummer and a second guitarist or keyboard player. Still, these demos show what Butchers Blind would sound like as a band, and though these weren’t produced for commercial sale, one could imagine them appearing as-is on the band’s debut. All that’s needed is for somebody to sign them up. In the meantime, even though, as per Wilco, “you can’t hear it on the radio,” you can enjoy the group’s first three productions and say you knew them when. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]

MP3 | One More Time
MP3 | My Worst Enemy
MP3 | Something Missing
Butchers Blind’s MySpace Page

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.