SXSW Records

Phases and Stages


The Ride (Jetset) Seaworthy is the tag for Macha's Josh McKay. That Athens-based group shares a penchant for Sunday-sunset moods, like their fellow Athenites R.E.M. Yet Macha are far more experimental and implied, their jangle coming from Indonesian instruments instead of Rickenbachers. The fact that this debut/side project hit the streets on Macha's label Jetset is more telling than surprising; The Ride has Macha's dreamy, pulling, mournful feel, yet as the name Seaworthy implies, this is more blurry blue aquatic. "I Met Her in the Candy Store" could be a lost track from the sessions of Macha's See It Another Way. Likewise opener "Open the Gates" emits Macha's familiar hammered dulcimer, yet here it's joined by a tremoloed fuzz guitar. Overall, McKay's lyrical delivery is as readable as dark blue subtitles in a murky film, an exception being "Lone Star Samba," which has the feel of a Nick Drake song treated by Brian Eno. "The Last Transmission" and "Sea Manta" are both successful instrumental exercises in atmospheric experimentation. Standout track "Identifying the Body" is captivating, and the most upbeat on the album, but it's still downtempo. By and large, Seaworthy's genesis is a good mood CD. Whether it's a good album depends on if you're in the mood for The Ride. (Thursday, March 14, Emo's, 9pm)


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