Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Name Is Ishmael Ali - LP

Ridgefield native Dan Vayness reviews the self titled debut LP from My Name Is Ishmael Ali

From Dan:

My Name Is Ishmael Ali consists of Jayson Munro and George Moore. The latter, coincidentally enough, is the nephew of Sonic Youth’s lead singer/guitar player/ songwriter Thurston Moore. The apple doesn’t far all that far from the tree as My Name Is Ishmael Ali makes their own brand of psych folk on their self-titled album, released on Wallingford, Conn.'s Obscure Me Records.

Influences ranging from Neil Young to noise rock like Sonic Youth or Talking Heads show throughout the record. The opening track “The Barn” is the closest thing to an anthem we get to hear. “In the barn, the owls are not giving up,” they chant, over the messy production that is prevalent throughout. On track 2, “Bethel Cop,” -which I can only assume has something to do with an encounter with a policeman in our own Bethel, CT – My Name Is Ishmael Ali sounds especially Young-esque, with the harmonica solo to match.

Their sound is surprisingly light for such dark, lo-fi production.  Track 8, “Sorry About the Time,” makes me think of very stripped down Weezer. The music isn’t necessarily sad, but it is very sparse.  On track 5, “Head,” they even throw in some sort of chimes near the end of the song, adding a nice cheerful dimension over their usual harmonica/acoustic guitar/bass/drums combo.
The closer, “Through Glass Doors,” is a standout on the record. Harmonies and feedback create for a dreary, drowned out sound, but it’s rooted in a very pretty melody. Those chimes even make another appearance. My Name Is Ishmael Ali leaves you feeling happy but a little empty…in a good way.

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