Tigre Benvie Bankruptcy

This second solo outing from Dears guitarist and former Thrush Hermit Tigre (sometimes "Rob”) Benvie finds him dealing with emotional bankruptcy in a whole hodgepodge of sounds and genres. Earnest broken heart confessionals are given the vocal treatment of charmingly off-key warbling and echo-y vocodors, while the sonic treatment is nothing if not eclectic and varied. Everything from thrashy fuzz guitars to high-pitched synth squeals to a slew of random samples (answering machine messages, rain downpours, cash register "cha-chings”) is thrown into the pot. At best, this diversity makes for a surreal, dreamy, otherworldly treat; at worst, it sounds disconnected, schizophrenic and distracting, especially when intrusively thrown into the middle of a song without transition, being so jarring that it’s like turning the dial on a radio (as in "My Father Moved Through Dooms of Love”). Benvie shines on minimalist ballads like "Come Back, Come Back” and "Visions of Catherine,” and when everything falls into place, his earnestness mixed with experimentalism comes off as a space age Elvis Costello. (Independent)