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Silver Gymnasium
     

The Silver Gymnasium

by Okkervil River
 

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Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff has never shied away from dipping his pen into the seemingly bottomless inkwell of nostalgia that seems to permeate much of 21st century indie pop and rock, but on The Silver Gymnasium, the Lone Star State band's seventh long-player, Sheff goes all in with a celebration/exorcism of his hometown

Overview

Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff has never shied away from dipping his pen into the seemingly bottomless inkwell of nostalgia that seems to permeate much of 21st century indie pop and rock, but on The Silver Gymnasium, the Lone Star State band's seventh long-player, Sheff goes all in with a celebration/exorcism of his hometown of Meridian, New Hampshire, crafting an 11- track, exhaustively detailed audio-biography that comes off like a more idiosyncratic, less overbearing version of Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. Sheff, born in 1976, imbues much of the record with a patina of (tasteful ) '80s AOR excess (listeners have the option to go online and explore the town using an 8-bit point and click adventure game), especially on album highlights like the expansive and disarmingly tragic "Down Down the Deep River," the bubbly ska and new wave-infused "Stay Young," and the hypnotic "Walking Without Frankie," the latter of which sounds like a dark, alternate universe rendering of J. Geils Band's "Freeze Frame." It's not all Trans-Am's and Pac Man though, as evidenced by the whimsical, Hunky Dory-era Bowie-colored opener "It Was My Season" and the twang-kissed, fist-pumping "White." That the band uses these time-worn textures without irony suggests a real reverence and understanding of the time period, which helps the material feel more like an emotionally charged high five than just a highly impressionistic show and tell, and Sheff's willingness to strike a balance between his roots rock past and his personal past should please longtime fans and newbies alike, even if they spend the majority of the ride wondering why the tour bus never actually stops at the Silver Gymnasium.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/03/2013
Label:
Ato Records
UPC:
0880882188122
catalogNumber:
218812
Rank:
146866

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Okkervil River   Primary Artist
Brian Cassidy   Electric Guitar
Will Sheff   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Vocals,ARP,Group Member
Jonathan Meiburg   Banjo,Vocal Harmony
Chris Mills   Vocal Harmony
Zachary Thomas   Mandolin
Matt LeMay   Vocal Harmony
Patrick Pestorius   Bass,Vocal Harmony,Group Member
Cully Symington   Percussion,Drums
Ben Kalb   Cello
Michael St. Clair   Synthesizer,Percussion,Trombone,Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Electric Guitar,Group Member,Hammond B3
Justin Sherburn   Piano,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,Harpsichord,Moog Synthesizer,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Optigan,Group Member,Hammond B3
Brian Donohoe   Saxophone
David Boyle   Hand Clapping
Lauren Gurgiolo   Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar,Group Member
Clinton Newman   Electric Guitar,Vocal Harmony

Technical Credits

John Agnello   Producer,Engineer
Phil Palazzolo   Engineer
John Congleton   Engineer
Will Sheff   Composer,Engineer
William Schaff   Artwork,Images
Daniel Murphy   Images,Layout
Justin Sherburn   Sequential Circuits
Matt Hubbard   Engineer
David Boyle   Engineer
Marion V. Cuthbert   Contributor
Hillary Sundell   Contributor

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