Label: Constellation Records Release date: 13/09/10 Link: Myspace Americana mixed with a distinct lo-fi flavour is the first impression Siskiyou give you with their debut album, Siskiyou. A band made up by two members (okay, Colin Huebert is now an ex-member) of Great Lake Swimmers, Siskiyou offers songs that were recorded live in several places, with extra instrumentation overdubbed. Most of the songs are brisk, with some being shorter than a minute. For evidence, consult 'Useless anymore', a song that sounds like the ending of a masterpiece. The guitar tone is sweetly distorted and is a change of pace for the album, which has been pretty quiet until now. The one song that decides to stop slouching and tell a proper story is the seven minute mammoth 'Big Sur'. This song has it all: glockenspiels, dramatic pauses and a guitar that sometimes gets warbled (a Zvex in action, maybe?). Strangely enough, the song never shows its (time)weight but sure is a downer. 'Big Sur' also relishes on the lo-fi aspect of the album and that radio static ending is spine tingling. I really like how it seamlessly flows into 'Brevity and insult', the lovely album ender. Although it smells like there's some heavy emotional undercurrent on the lyrics, there's some lines here and there for the environment. Again, 'Big Sur', that sasquatch sized ditty, raises its hand. The chilling 'This land' sounds like a plea to take better care of the environment, a point that is not done too preachy and again, could lend itself to other interpretations (“is this land made up for me?”). Siskiyou is a pretty stark album, so you might consider having something else to take away the aftertaste. Certainly not something for a depressed mind to take in, but there might be some sunshine hiding in all those contemplative clouds. Siskiyou won't break any moulds but it certainly is a long, firm step by Colin Huebert. Photobucket