Letís Get Bloody
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/13/2012
The campy title, the provocative album cover, and the uptight songs could not be more apparent signs of the fact that Ethan Tufts (a.k.a. State Shirt) is trying to add some sort of a deeper meaning to Let’s Get Bloody. It is almost as if this album is being used as a channel for an emotional purging exercise that Tufts is trying to bring upon himself and upon the listener. However, if taken seriously, this record is bromidic if anything. A run-of-the mill electro-indie record, Let’s Get Bloody is a decent attempt by Tufts, but not a profound epic by any means.
Tufts is an ardent proponent of DIY music and has released this record under a Creative Commons license, encouraging visitors to his site to buy or steal his present (and past) works. His handmade approach on Let’s Get Bloody shows in its use of cheap eletronics and lack of professional production-work. Maybe this is deliberate, maybe not, but the sleekness of sound that techno music requires – for example, on the outright electronic cuts like “Crush,” “Please Stop,” and the cover of Electronic’s “Disappointed” – isn’t there with the bare-bones bedroom production.
The fusion of invoking guitars and unorthodox electronic music by Tufts is reminiscent of a similar outfit, the now one-man National Skyline. But neither the songwriting nor the playing of the music on Let’s Get Bloody comes any close to the mastery of this mélange of music styles by National Skyline on their catalog of albums and EPs, which are much lauded for their distinctiveness. Still, this album has a good mix of folk and electronica packaged in pretty tunes that aren’t overall of the dismissive quality. Tufts has breezy vocals that don’t have much going on to them, but they work well for the smooth electro-pop sound of his music.
For all the attempts by Tufts to give Let’s Get Bloody greater meaning and depth, this album doesn’t have the teeth to be anything but just a benevolent indie record. Try to add any serious meaning to it, and you’ll ruin the album’s beauty, whatever little it has.