Joey Cape / Tony Sly - Acoustic Volume 2 (Cover Artwork)

Joey Cape / Tony Sly

Joey Cape / Tony Sly: Acoustic Volume 2Acoustic Volume 2 (2012)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When the original Joey Cape/Tony Sly Acoustic split album came out eight years ago, I was still listening fairly heavily to both of these guys' main bands. While in recent years I've gravitated towards more of what many of you folks would lump in with Pitchfork fare, these two men still hold a speci.

When the original Joey Cape/Tony Sly Acoustic split album came out eight years ago, I was still listening fairly heavily to both of these guys' main bands. While in recent years I've gravitated towards more of what many of you folks would lump in with Pitchfork fare, these two men still hold a special place in my heart and their skills as songwriters warrant another look at some classic tunes stripped down and rearranged. Compared to the first Acoustic split, Vol. 2 is more slick sounding, but not in a bad way. Whereas on the first one they'd have synth strings, here they'd have real strings, or acoustic piano instead of an obvious digital keyboard It sounds more lush, but never overdone. That's not the idea here, obviously.

On Joey's half of the album, you get a wide range of songs from Trashed to Resolve. "Resolved," from a rightfully dark album, translates pretty well to the acoustic and slower tempo, also including some tasteful tremolo electric and something that may be an electric with an ebow. But you're really in for a treat after the tempo change, when it gets downright bluegrass, giving a whole new life to the song, perhaps signifying Joey coming to terms with his friend's death seven years later. Then it kicks into "I Must Be Hateful," which has beautiful fingerpicking and light padding keys, gelling well with Joey's voice, though it is funny to hear the Jawbreaker name drop in this environment. Trashed cut "Know It All" sounds odd in particular coming from a 40-something instead of a 20-something, but it is still a fantastic melody and works well here outside of perhaps the lyrics. "Broken Record" is the new song contribution from Cape, with simply guitar and Joey's voice. Very intimate and effective, only building to more aggressive strumming.

If I had to pick by songwriting along, I would say I'm a Joey man. But as far as arrangements, Sly does a more thoughtful job of fleshing out his half. His set starts with "Black Box," a song I was unfamiliar with, but I was won over by the chorus melody, and the cello, piano, guitar and accordion work together tastefully without being busy. Tony keeps "Soulmate" peppy, thank goodness, preserving the bounce with the acoustic providing the backbeat and shaker giving the downbeat. The bass even has a punk tone, as chunky piano chords keep a spring in the song's step. Same goes for "Chasing Rainbows," with it's Johnny Cash train-chugging drums, more accordion, and a nice acoustic slide solo. "Pre-Medicated Murder" doesn't do much for me as a song, but the arrangement is interesting with more accordion and organ chording. The album closes with Sly's new cut "Liver Let Die," a drunken pub-singalong that works nicely to close out the album.

Obviously this was crafted for die-hard fans of Cape and Sly, though I could see it being used as an "in" with people unfamiliar with them (or punk in general) before introducing them to these two's faster, more distorted back catalogue. Acoustic Volume 2 is a big improvement in sonics over the first edition, but like the first, is a very enjoyable listen for old fans such as myself. It's a bit of a nostalgia trip, and surely it was for these two men as well.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
greg0rb (June 22, 2012)

Jersey, is this a Spotify playlist? Wouldn't mind stealing it. :) I'm guessing no, since you are paying for mp3s. Get on Spotify, bro!

JerseyPunker (June 21, 2012)

*Addendum: ;)

*"Jerry Schwarz in 1983 stated If you submit a satiric item without this (smiley) symbol, no matter how obvious the satire is to you, do not be surprised if people take it seriously."
-Wikipedia, Poe's Law

JerseyPunker (June 21, 2012)

I realized that Violet was Bad Astronaut song. I just assumed it was a random new song. $.99. Big deal. Then as I was continuing down the list, I realized that there were Lagwagon songs on Vol. 2 whose hard versions are only on the reissues. And then I noticed that there were more alternate versions of other songs on the reissues. Surely you know how it is, if you're gonna do it, you'd damned well better do it right. So, the question is: DL just the dozen tracks I need for this "comp", DL the whole albums, or go for broke and order the vinyl reissues and hope my wife doesn't take them in the resultant divorce? Maybe I can make a shack out of all the media mail boxes... Anyway, while I'm happy with the album, I can't help wondering if this is part of some slick scheme to get obsessive schmucks like me to buy the Lagwagon reissues because I have to have all versions of all the songs, which will inevitably lead to buying the whole albums, because WTF? For $8 for 2 dozen songs, who wouldn't? And at just $10 more for the reissues!? Damn you Fat Mike, you evil genius you!

JerseyPunker (June 21, 2012)

I love it. I also love Acoustic and 'Split 7"', of which I hope to hear cranked versions one day, as well as "soft" versions of "hard" (or vice versa) songs of most the bands I listen too. Of course, I also like the String Quartet tributes too... Anyway, I went through and created my own "Acoustic/Electric" playlist with, you guessed it, Acoustic and Vol. 2 in order, with the Lagwagon and NUFAN versions after each acoustic version. It's quite an experience listening to them like that. Overall was quite pleased. Then came...a problem.

levidolphin (June 20, 2012)

Really enjoy this!!! now its time for more SCORPIOS!!!

damo (June 20, 2012)

it's ok. No classic versions but on a par with the ALK3 acoustic album

brookslikesmusics (June 19, 2012)

Solid review of a very solid album. I have to admit to being a huge fan of the Caper, and finding Tony Sly's style somewhat uninspired in comparison (and I really am a big TS/NUFAN fan!).... So I obviously much prefer the Joey Cape tracks, especially the one that I hadn't heard. As usual it brought a tear to my eye. Musically it's nothing too different from Joey and Tony's other acoustic works, if you like their earlier releases you'll almost surely enjoy these tracks.

MN_DrNick (June 19, 2012)

Sooooooooooooooo glad they made a second one! This is awesome stuff.

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