The Lido Venice - Songs Written Around The Campfire In The Belly Of A Whale (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Lido Venice

Songs Written Around The Campfire In The Belly Of A Whale (2004)


The Lido Venice has the musical chops, prowess, and determination to make huge waves in their given musical community. But what is that community?

Very roughly cast into what I can only imagine would be the indie pop/rock pool, TLV is hard to fairly categorize. Their short, raw cuts of jagged, Cursive-like guitarwork and sometimes yelped, sometimes hushed-shout theatrics for vocals place them in a light that's been rather dull lately. If certain bands only play the "depressed artist" card, then you could say that TLV holds the full house - an overall creepy feel at times (see your "Medic!" for specific symptoms), a whatever-goes, almost-jam base influence in spots, abrupt, sipid tidbits of power-chord garage, and an experimentive knack for getting plenty of instruments in on the action. And no, they're not bluffing.

While "Dig Those Heels" and "Medic!" are the dancy-but-still-rocking frame the band essentially revolves their sound around, the re-recorded "Dancing Our Duress (A Pas De Deux)" is the notable standout. You can just imagine your raft floating through the canals of Italy as your gondolier softly plays his accordion, humming you down the river. Listen to this song without joining in on the chorus, I dare you. The only real problem with the song is its sequenced spot; alone it's a spectacular tune, but its moderate pacing and sit-down mood feels way out of place as the second track of the EP.

The lyrics contain this subtle sarcasm that's hard to describe. In the opener, they spew this following warning: "Don't be so proud of your mongrel past / You could be thoroughbred for all they care / you're still a bitch to them." If lines like this reference a situation this obscure, why does it still leave me smirking? Answer: the sheer, biting cleverness of them.

"Bury Me Next To My Voicebox" is the penultimate closer for a teaser EP. A four-and-a-half-minute acoustic-based strumming rests grounded while a soft stroking on an electric provides an instrumental layer in the left speaker, with a road-trip, story-telling feel and the repetitive lament of "well darling, I'm not sure I can..." and the aforementioned power chord chug in the chorus only to let the whole thing abruptly fade in the end with a quick drum roll and final ping of a guitar string.

Aside from the pretention, which is really only overbearing in one spot (that title...that title...), this is a great teaser. It's short and a tad disjointed, but Songs Written Around The Campfire In The Belly Of A Whale serves its purpose: showcasing the talent and untapped potential of a young band while leaving you wanting more.

Dig Those Heels
Dancing Our Duress (A Pas De Veux)

The entire EP