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Harm's Way

Harm's Way

  • By Siberia
  • Release 2/11/2004
  • Music Genre Alternative Rock
  • Media Format CD
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Price: $17.86

Product Notes

Randy Farmer and John West Mitchell are Siberia Sometimes haunting, other times beautiful, Siberia's latest effort, Harm's Way is full of vivid, fragmented imagery about life, death, loss and redemption. The record begins all guitar riffs and chorus and closes with floating drum loops and sampling. What occurs in between is a collection of dark and stylish songs that live on the ends of Randy Farmer's voice and John Mitchell's distant guitars. Mitchell's songs simmer with equal parts restraint and urgency while Farmer nearly whispers through many of her lyrics. The two equally impressive aspects of Harm's Way take the listener on an imaginative journey. Siberia's dream world begins to take shape on the second track, 'Virus'. Simple acoustic guitar lines set the tone before giving way to overly-distorted, distant guitars that anchor the chorus. Farmer's lyrics, 'Hardwood floors a madman's gaze / Water spilling from her veins', are typical of the troubled images she uses to illustrate the conflict in her songs. In addition to suicide and madness, other frequently recurring images include blood, earth, water, and poverty. Whether it's a dirty floor, dilapidated sofas and cars, bathtubs or broken glass, it seems Farmer's entire past is an impoverished house of ruined loves and bitter dreams. Redemption is escaping; and if escaping means death (her own or someone else's) then it also means a rebirth, and she's OK with that. Not all of Farmer's lyrics are as bleak as those in 'Virus'. She offers momentary breaks from the depression on 'Vessel' and 'Sleep'. 'Vessel' is the first hint that the album is more than hopeless dreams. Once the victim, the narrator becomes the heroine on 'Vessel.' 'Didn't I kiss the ground where you once fell / Bare against the jagged shells / Didn't I hold your hand in hell', Farmer sings. While not the most overtly optimistic lyrics ever put to paper, they indicate a strength and compassion that many of the lyrics on the album eschew for more bleak tones. Although most of the music and lyrics on Harm's Way sound influenced by New York's gritty and dark basement bars or late night streets, Mitchell's slide guitars and subtle acoustic touches provide traces of Americana throughout. On Dylan's 'Man in the Long Black Coat', Mitchell's smoke-filled guitars and Farmer's half-spoken lyrics breathe their own life into the song without abandoning the original. Siberia use Dylan's stark lyrical imagery to escape from consuming New York streets to the overcast skies and deserted landscapes of the Midwest. With so much in the way of dark lyrics and music to match, it would have been only too easy to overindulge in their new direction, making the album a pit of quicksand emotion and drum machines. Instead, Siberia opted to keep the album sonically sparse, allowing the listener to float on the surface of it's dream world, rather than drown in it. Harm's Way offers enough emotion and imagery to allow the listener to reach down and touch it's world for a time before drifting off to another, more personal world, and back again. (Review-By David Brecheisen / POP MATTERS) It's okay, go ahead and cry. When listening to Siberia's latest album, Harm's Way, it's kind of hard not too. Overflowing with dark and deeply powerful lyrics and haunted by lead singer Randy Farmer's eerie vocals, this CD is one intense ride. Our featured track, "Vessel," is as gripping as the rest of them. Farmer's silky smooth voice, in combination with a mishmash of electronic texture and a good dose of poison and betrayal, makes for an unforgettably sinister song that's sure to make you feel something serious. (Review-ABERCROMBIE & FITCH ) Siberia: Harm's Way [Little Pony] Harms Way is two albums at least: one an experimental, evocative follow-up to Damage and the other a mixed bag of brilliance. Art wins out here, with Siberia showcasing masterful musicianship and the oppressively-themed but wonderfully performed and incorporated lyrics by Randy Farmer. Harms Way is a gothic college-rock exploration of classic Americana narratives and subjects (the glorious Peter, ephemeral Vessel, and inspired cover of The Man In The Long Black Coat), telling stories with a rhythmic and strongly evocative edge, full of easy mid-90s guitar and self-indicting, mournful lyrics like I will not scream/Or overeat, on the refrain of album highlight Virus. But Harms Way is also a return to, and muscular re-imagining of, the lush landscapes, danceable and well-integrated percussion/guitar, and evocative vocals of college-band favorites like Mazzy Star or Sneaker Pimps. Evoking night rides on dark country highways, ghostly love stories told at night in abandoned fields, and funerals held in snowy, bare farm communities: the feeling here is of the passion and complexity to be found among the wreckage and empty miles of the gothic America the Williamsburg, Brooklyn band seems to revere and delight in visiting. The vocals of Tight Wire are intimate and beautiful, complementing it's solid and complex instrumentation, while the albums two best songs, Quicksand and Toronto, partake of apocalyptic, coldly angry and centrally American images and sounds of desolation. All in all, the mistakes are few, and even the less interesting songs here show promise for the future, and a love of the possibilities of sound. The new Siberia after an injury sustained by guitarist John Mitchell necessitated a few changes in method and sound is one that succeeds best when experimenting and luxuriating in the sampling and rhythmic dimensions of it's labyrinths of guitar and mannered vocals: imagine a Cowboy Junkies ghost story, as produced by Skunk Anansie. Recommended. (Review-Jacob Clifton/LEFT OFF THE DIAL) Recently Siberia completed a third disc entitled 'In through the past' to be released in September 2010 Check out the full reviews for Harm's Way @ Abercrombie & Fitch, Betterpropaganda, Sponic, Hyperactive, CMJ Siberia is a registered trademark to contact Siberia email them@ littleponyrecords@gmail.com.

Details

Artist: Siberia
Title: Harm's Way
Genre: Alternative Rock
Release Date: 2/11/2004
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 788572894028
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