Trees and Shade Are Our Only Fences

Trees and Shade Are Our Only Fences

by Sylvie



Kicking off with the nervously energetic "Please Make It Home," wrapping up everything from epic post-punk guitar to crisp indie pop in one sharp package, on Trees and Shade Are Our Only Fences, Sylvie show that they've learned well from their influences but even more importantly found their own smart angle on the sound. The key might be one of the simplest things of all -- how well vocalists Riva Racette and Chris Notenboom work together, either in harmony or trading off lines. While Notenboom's singing acts as a more standard if always attractive element -- the clean soaring male voice over big guitars, suggestive of everything from the Sound and the Kitchens of Distinction to For Against and many more -- Racette's singing adds further energy, sometimes spikily chanting, as on the relentless surge of "Dark Ages," sometimes sweeping in behind Notenboom to take things even higher (the chorus of "Satellites" provides a prime example, the string-touched arrangement turned into an emotional punch that deserves a huge stadium performance more than most songs). Her lead on "When We Were Young" is a well-deserved standout. The band's performance in general works in slightly more familiar territory but never drags, possessing both a good sense for dramatically building a song's intensity and for strong endings. J. Robbins' unsurprisingly stellar production brings out the band's sound beautifully, combining both the huge punch they are clearly aiming for and a careful delicacy as well. Notenboom never sounds swamped by the music, easy as that could be -- and the whole is a striking effort that provides some new life to what seemed like overfarmed sonic ground.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/21/2008
Label: Wea Int'l
UPC: 0778632902084
catalogNumber: 3290208

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