Alice Despard, Vessel

Alice Despard, Vessel

I think some wires got crossed up in the Space City Rock offices. An album like Alice Despard’s Vessel usually falls firmly in the stomping grounds of my esteemed associate, Marc Hirsh. I think he may’ve even reviewed one of Despard’s earlier releases a while back. For whatever reason, though, I, the punk/hardcore/metal/loud music guy, ended up with her latest offering. I think editor Jeremy might have mentioned something about “alt-country leanings” in the description — I can get into that stuff most times. So what the hell, let me give it a try.

Ahem. Okay, here we go: indie. Patti Smith-esque. Hints of Juliana Hatfield. Guitar that’s sometimes shimmery, other times jangly, but most times cleanly picked acoustic. Definitely a “coffee house” kind of vibe going on here, for better or worse.

The songs can be hauntingly stark, but sometimes are a bit too long for my tastes, especially since there’s very little dynamic to be found within them. Alice Despard does have a neat vocal style, however — kinda deep alto, not showy or indulgent, and very real. I dig that. Unfortunately, the songs begin to all run together, at least to my ears. Maybe that’s because there are no “mosh parts” — who knows? Apparently this album was recorded in one day in order to bring the listener the experience and intimacy of a live show, and while I didn’t dislike it, I think I’d rather just see Alice Despard’s show. My guess is that the material translates much better in that context.

And maybe she’ll throw in some mosh parts.

(Wampus Multimedia -- 4 Weems Lane, #300, Winchester, VA. 22601; http://www.wampus.com/; Alice Despard -- http://www.alicedespard.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Saturday, May 12th, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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