Dave Fischoff the Crawl

The Crawl opens with majestic, dense orchestration, the lo-fi keyboards, guitar, and brooding chorus sounding enough like Hymie’s Basement to imagine that Why? must be somewhere in the liner notes. With vocals buried under distorted, bass-y tones and choral overdubbing, the album evokes the kind of Brian Wilson’s bedroom feeling Secretly Canadian wants to sell the album on. Except for the fact that Dave Fischoff sounds more like that former less celebrated name-check than the latter hero. The arrangements are certainly ambitious enough, with the key changes galore and horns over shakers and strings of "Landscape Skin” providing texturally rich listening that culminates in the heavily fading chords and intermittent timpanis of "Rain, Rain, Gasoline.” That song’s line, "Our time is fading/we didn’t know/that to love is to work/and to work is to survive” serves well to describe Fischoff’s vision; he’s putting his heart and soul into it with the hopes that having done so will award him some karmic right to success and proliferation. Aspiring to a body of work similar to that of Xiu Xiu’s with complicated yet accessible compositions of bleeding heart proclamations, Fischoff’s neglected to cut his teeth on simpler, more spacious pieces. Instead, he races to create a massive work of chamber-like orchestrations, à la "La Foret,” when his songwriting skills so far are more suited to the comparative nakedness of "A Promise.” (Secretly Canadian)