Contrary to the majority of bands out there, indluding those fitting the indie-pop mold, keys are the primary instrument in Back In Judy’s Shack. Thus, there should be no surprise that I immediately relate them to Au Revoir Simone. However, Back In Judy’s Shack do stand on there own, well outside that early reference point.
First notable, as early as opening track “Winter Days”, is the production value; it’s all lo-fi, as is signature to albums on Series II. Second, on the following “Burning Cold”, is the inclusion of male vocals. Finally, in the third song “Breath”, Back In Judy’s Shack adds some unique instruments in the opening sequence: horns.
Virtually all songs on Back In Judy’s Shack include backing electronic beats. This often heightens the catchiness factor of the tunes, most notable in “Silence” and “The Forest”. However, calling them high points would merely discredit the other songs, which are, honestly, equally as worthy of the badge.
In many ways, the electronic elements and male-female vocals lead Back In Judy’s Shack to remind me of a more pop, less dark Cock And Swan.
Concluding with yet another strong tune, “What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life”, the album is notably short, merely containing seven songs; further, only one barely tops three minutes while two are significantly under two. Back In Judy’s Shack, then, could almost be considered an EP. But where it lacks in song legth, it more than makes up in quality music.
This review was originally published July 18, 2008 on the old version of FensePost.
Back In Judy’s Shack: Winter Days [mp3]
[audio:090222_back_in_judys_shack_-_winter_days.mp3|titles=Winter Days|artists=Back In Judy’s Shack]
Back In Judy’s Shack: The Forest [mp3]
[audio:090222_back_in_judys_shack_-_the_forest.mp3|titles=The Forest|artists=Back In Judy’s Shack]
Series II Records [CDEP, 2008]
1. Winter Days
2. Burning Cold
4. The Puff, The Drag, The Whiff
6. The Forest
7. What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life