Sentridoh | Taking a Look At Weed Forestin’

Sentridoh was a side project of the bassist for Dinosaur Jr. Lou Barlow way back in 1990 and the album Weed Forestin’ has now been rereleased in several different formats including a version in all its original cassette glory. What has been rereleased is not the original version of Weed Forestin’, it has been remastered, although it is hard to think of this album as something that has been smoothed out. The ultra low-fi sound that encapsulates the style of this album is often duplicated and mimicked by current bands who try so desperately to make their digitally produced music have the characteristics of something that has come from an analog medium.  It’s hard to blame imitators for wanting their music to sound like that of Barlow’s, the background hisses and pops like that of an original Billie Holiday album. The charm of Weed Forestin’ is in the imperfections in the songs, an off note here and there and spoken word portion that starts as a poetic exploration of love and needs, only to end abruptly in brief self-deprecating jag.  Knowing that this album released over two decades ago only puts into perspective the impact this low-fi style of indie folk has had on the culture at large.

The track Subtle Holy Gift is filled with this breezy guitar matched with simple drum rhythm, its playful nature sets the tone for the whole album. The falsetto sung throughout the track tells the listener that this music is not to be taken, oh so seriously. It is supposed to be fun, and it is. Then there is Whitey Peach which could be best described as an honest acoustic love ballad for all those “horny young apes” out there. The thing which is attractive about this album is just how short and sweet almost all of the tracks are with only one song on the whole album cracking the three minute mark. It is as if the whole album is more or less a sample of things to come, of ideas and riffs for songs that would go on to be written by Barlow in a more articulated manner.   

It may be that what really allures people to music found on Weed Forestin’ is that it charms the listener into believing that if they had the proper inspiration they too could make an album to similar effect as Weed Forestin’. This is not true.  The idea that every aspiring musician has a great album or even a good song in them, is just not realistic, most people lack the ability to articulate whatever it is within them that might be worth sharing to others.  That being said, Lou Barlow seems to have created something in Weed Forestin’ which has managed to survive the twenty some years that it has existed and still remain an engaging listening experience.  

1 comment:

eric said...

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