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Pit Er Pat
SHAKEY
(Thrill Jockey)

Serendipity helped form this experimental Midwestern band: drummer Butchy Fuego (Need New Body and Neutral Milk Hotel), bassist Rob Doran (Alkaline Trio), and organist/vocalist Fay Davis-Jeffers came together to back a lead singer whose departure to NYC forced them to shape-shift into a moody, neo-prog ensemble. (Think Tortoise with vocals.) Soon after releasing a debut EP, Emergency (Overcoat), using the name Blackbirds, they opted for Pit Er Pat, an esoteric phrase written in a painting by Chicago artist Jim Nutt of the Hairy Who movement. The bandís debut full-length is full of spacious jammed-out soundscapes and demented Alice-in-Wonderland textures. Davis-Jeffersís willowy, childlike vocals and amateur organ pounding add to the off-kilter circus-like feel. The vocals from Fuego and Doran give a subtle shift to the sound; otherwise, the tracks bleed into one other with only a broken, increasingly tedious clatter to set them apart. "False Face" stands out with its Indian-inflected dubs. But the rest of Shakey is cut from the same haughty and ultimately disjointed cloth.

(Pit Er Pat play with Menomena this Wednesday, March 9, at T.T. the Bearís Place, 10 Brookline Street in Central Square; call 617-492-BEAR.)

BY ZOË GEMELLI


Issue Date: March 4 - 10, 2005
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