In Sickness and Health
Book-ending the EP are stark confessionals that could be comfortably sung in a dimly lit basement studio or on the railing of a bridge. As we enter a new decade, singer/guitarist Danny Black’s near-whispered “Ten Years\" is the theme song for blown chances and wasted time, while bassist/singer Gina Black (classically trained, but beats and bows the stand-up like few others) sings “If It All Falls Through” teetering on desperation, her voice cracking and breathless with resignation or hope, it’s hard to tell. Maybe she doesn’t even know. Maybe it’s the same thing.
In between are four songs bursting with sanguine energy. From the Flaming Lips soar of \"Can’t Explain\" to the Tom Waits gutter poetry of \"Bottled & Flat\" to the X inflected fractured romance of \"I’m In Love,\" The Blacks alchemical balance of orchestral punk, rootsy psychedelia and gut bucket snarl conjures many reference points, but remains uniquely theirs. Guitarist/singer Nora O’Connor, (who spent much of the past decade singing with Andrew Bird, New Pornographers, Neko Case and Mavis Staples, as well as releasing the solo album 2004\'s Til the Dawn), with her simple raw and melodic playing and ethereal bluebird of a voice, and drummer James Emmenegger, all wide lapels and flailing arms, round out this, the classic line up of the Blacks, and make them more than the sum of their parts; their particular talents and demons making for fertile and exhilarating turns, and the production making for an intimate headphones record, suitable for when you\'re low or when you\'re high.