Maquiladora / A House All On Fire
Album: A House All On Fire   Collection:General
Artist:Maquiladora   Added:Dec 2005
Label:Darla Records  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2006-01-01 Pull Date: 2006-03-05
Week Ending: Feb 26 Feb 19 Jan 22 Jan 15 Jan 8
Airplays: 1 2 1 1 3

Recent Airplay
1. Feb 22, 2006: Deep in the Groove
Blackened And Damned
4. Jan 18, 2006: asymptotic subbing for Blu G
Simply To See You
2. Feb 15, 2006: Deep in the Groove
Blackened And Damned
5. Jan 08, 2006: Hipster Happy Hour
Atop The Infinite
3. Feb 14, 2006: The Sad Men's Club (Love Sucks Edition)
Long Lost Love
6. Jan 06, 2006: Eels in the Loo
Lo Escribe En El Alma

Album Review
matthew stark rubin
Reviewed 2005-12-21
Maquilladora- A House All on Fire- Darla Records, 8/29/05.
Reviewed by Matthew Stark Rubin. FCC Clean, except track 11 (“shit”).

Dreamy baroque lo-fi with a touch of twang. Atmosphere is everywhere- ebows, delay pedals, sparse drums, all varieties of organs/etc. Generally sad throughout, but in a meandering, thoughtful way, not an angry or a slit-your-wrists way. Sometimes ventures into twangier, alt-country territory, but always as an addition to the foundation, never as a wholesale stylistic shift. This is often due to the singing, which alternates between typical indie droning and thicker, more emotive folk singing. There are three singers here, and they each have vastly different styles. The folky one, though he often misses the mark with regards to pitch, definitely hits home harder and gives this spacey album some character.

My picks: 1, 5, 9, 11 (but see FCC)

1- guitar w/ delay effect, quiet drums, and nice lullaby singing. Kinda sounds like the singing in mercury rev at first, until singer gets a little more country and forceful as he riffs off the lyrics from amazing grace. Steady mid-tempo, mid-volume throughout with a few build-ups here and there.

2- acoustic guitar, intermittment arthymic drums, and melodica w/ tenuous singing about a nightmare to start the verse. Then settles down into a chord-heavy, alt-country ballad for the choruses.

3- falsetto singing over slow, sad vamp. Occasionally joined by quiet, tasteful drums. Almost sounds like something off Sigur Ros’s ( ). Very slow and gradual fade out.

4- piano notes lead tele strumming and walking bass. Country vibe with the twangy singer and some haphazardly nice melodies. Later joined by some intense mandolin strumming. Pretty, if a bit aimless.

5- Almost classical piano vamp solo, joined after 4 measures by full band. Acoustic strumming, all in the minor key, front and center with slide guitar and snare to boot. Singing is nice and dirty. Gets a bit sparser as it goes on and ends with just piano and drums.

6- starts with a dog barking, some erratic but melodic guitar playing, a few piano notes. As dog leaves the fray, it settles down, but only a bit. Borders on dissonant, but always sways back into pretty-land just as dissonance begins to rear its head. Vocals are unremarkable, just kinda drone about, with occasional harmonies. Goes on too long, though.

7- dark, solo acoustic guitar picking intro. Background noise starts to swell, guitar starts to strum and build, distorted bass joins. Desperate singing low-in-the-mix. Repetitive, and less a song than a noise experiment, though a very controlled one.

8- piano, quiet acoustic strumming, thick single bass notes and plaintive, sad singing. Nice trumpet enters at 1:30, accompanied by vocal swells and harmonies. Gets louder in the middle and then quieter again at end.

9- Nice telecaster noodling and some minor-key acoustic strumming. The singing is a bit off-key, but forceful and appropriate, and nice off-kilter harmonies from the other members. The album title pops up in the lyrics here, which makes sense since this is definitely one of the album’s stronger tracks.

10- Starts with loud, distorted guitar noise for 1:30. Then a melody acapella. Then at about 2:00 it turns into a real song, with organs at front of the mix, and incorporates the acapella melody. Fades out. This song sucks.

11- Starts with loopy keys and echoey guitar noise, but soft. Singing doesn’t start until 2:00, so FADE THIS ONE IN if you play it. THE FCC ISSUE (“shit”) IS RIGHT WHEN THE SINGING STARTS. Singing nicely alternates between confessional, almost talky to melodramatic falsetto (it’s two singers). At 5:30 we get some single guitar strums and some picking over the soundbed. Really quite pretty, play it if it’s nighttime for sure.

Track Listing
1. Simply To See You   6. Summer Of Sad Songs (For H.H.)
2. Nightmares   7. Long Lost Love
3. Storyteller   8. Lo Escribe En El Alma
4. Careless Fearless   9. Atop The Infinite
5. Blackened And Damned   10. White Sands
  11. Katella Avenue Blues