Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Album Review: The String Cheese Incident- Song In My Head

The String Cheese Incident
Song In My Head
**and1/2 out of *****
The String Cheese Incident's first studio album in 9 years, Song In My Head, finds the band familiarly hitting the jamband notes over a spectrum of musical influences.  The title track plays like a rolling Grateful Dead shuffle with many parts lending themselves to musical exploration but the album also puts a high premium on the noodle dancing masses.

There is a light funky groove found on a bunch of these tracks. "Betray The Dark" implores with a rumba feel and drum breakdown while "Let's Go Outside" continues the thread via some rapping inspired nonsense spiritual/poetry lyrics. "Rosie" just wants to get down over the increasing beat and disk closer "Colliding" tries to soar above the clouds but struggles to truly get airborne.  

One of the better tracks is the balladesque "Struggling Angel" which is accentuated by nice piano work and a harmonica. Tracks like the reggae fueled "Stay True" and the Caribbean Jimmy Buffet flavored "Can't Wait Another Day" will surely be easy breezy favorites in the live setting and that is where this band lives.

So it begs the question why this album now. The band was clearly excited to record the live staples and use the studio for new purposes. When it comes to that though perhaps less would be more, a perfect example being the opening "Colorado Bluebird Sky".

The song plays as a classically great bluegrass tune for the first two minutes before an electric guitar provides an awkward transition into a jammed out ending. Perhaps crafting just a simple, tight, effecting bluegrass classic for the studio album and saving the jamming for live shows would have been a better balance. Either way the band will be out on the festival circuit this summer doing what they do best in 2014 and beyond.       
Not really our bag, but not remotely bad either. After some dark disks last week SCI certainly bring the positivity man!

Support the artist here, buy the album here, peep some video below:

Looks like they did cut down the jamming for the studio version...

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