Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Album Review: Effects Precede Causes-The Dawn of The Day

Well, this is a nice change of pace. So far, Stankhouse Records has released nothing but pretty weird but also pretty good punk records. Now they have released the debut LP of Effects Precede Causes, something that could not be further from that sound. Yet, it somehow makes sense for the label to put it out at the same time.

Effects Precede Causes is a Portland based band. They're relatively new, so there is little info on them, but I do believe that the band is made up of various band members from various D.I.Y. folk bands from that area. The sound of the LP produced from that mess is a bit hard to pin down. No one is doing music quite like these guys. It's a weird mix of current and old style folk along with a little bit of a '40s and '50s pop in there as well. There's also no scruffiness to the sound either. The sound is very clean and the lead singer seems to have been in some singing classes growing up.

The songs tend to follow a formula of a constant rhythm and melody with an instrument popping in for a few seconds to add a quick touch to the song. Opener "Come On" is great in its simple mantra of doing everything capsuled in the song's jangly piano and sweet vocals. The record dives into two slower jams with "You Picked A Fine Day To Say" a cry about losing a love that has a great 60's wilting guitar line. Then "Dragon Song" an even slower one with maracas, sand blocks, accordion, and a desire to do whatever you can for love. "Someday Monkey (Won't Play Piano Song)" picks up steam again in a silly little song that manages to be catchy while you picture the band playing it in the '30s on a train, washboard and all. The other side opens with a quick instrumental called "The Hunt" and with "Wasted on the Young" the band's love of Elton John comes to the forefront, but they manage to make it listenable. The classic rock a la piano vibe is continued with "Let Love Slowly In" with the higher placed vocals and weird "ooh laas", that thankfully ends on just the right spot before the joke gets bad. "Darkest Day" is a bleak little tune using imagery of rabbits scurrying and well placed cello to trigger dread, but in a good way. "Wooden Room" is the most conventional track, only a minute long with just the singer and an acoustic guitar, but after all that piano, it becomes the perfect pallet cleanser.

The Dawn of the Day winds up being just as different as everything Stankhouse has put out before, but for totally different reasons. The LP is both very familiar, but quirky at the same time. If you see it in a record shop, it wouldn't be a bad buy to add to your collection



  1. Just so everyone knows; Effects Precede Causes is not a band, but a project by Matthew Buonaiuto.

  2. Ok thanks for clarifying. That helps a lot.

  3. Matthew BuonaiutoMay 3, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    David Glickman,
    Just came across your review of our album and wanted to thank you. I appreciate your candid approach to writing and feel like you have aptly described our music in words.
    To clarify what Anonymous said: Effects Precede Causes is a collaboration of musicians who have played shows, toured and recorded together in other Portland-based bands. These bands include The Sexy Water Spiders, D.M.V., Not Yeti, Tiny Knives, The Vonneguts and Resin Hits. Though I was the songwriter for Effects Precede Causes, to not acknowledge the other musicians who added so much as a band, would be absurd.
    Thank you and enjoy!

    Matthew Buonaiuto

  4. We love it on the East Coast, Only wandering where The Love Pusher fits into all of this?

  5. LOVE PUSHER??????!!! Haven't heard anything from those guys in years.