Tetherball: Physical Violins

It’s always interesting to see a solo project produce BIG sound. Steve Voss is a daring fellow, taking the entirety of his lone creative forces and building a musical endeavor out of it –Tetherball. His latest EP, Physical Violins, is a robust and powerful sampler –feature four explosive tracks.

Voss’ has a pretty damn eclectic taste. Physical Violins sounds like every indie band (a little Of Montreal, maybe a Subaru commercial), 90’s alternative band (some Soundgarden), and even some jam in there (Papadosio maybe?). The EP isn’t bad but it isn’t very unique, in fact, it sounds like every familiar sound out there. Like leftovers for three days in a row, Physical Violins stopped being exciting a while ago. But you don’t mind it –it’s not like you have to work very hard to enjoy this one. Tetherball’s Physical Violins is just kind of listenable, moderately enjoyable, but nothing special.

But if we’re to point to a more special point, I’d like to admit that I really liked “Tornado Games”, and really hated “Gladiate”. The former is the EP’s opening track and often sounds a bit like a jam. The slew of guitars and various other instruments –keys, percussion, vocals –oh my –works fairly well for Voss. It’s a cool listen, it’s good enough to be satisfying.  It’s a certain use of texture and cacophony that just works. On the flip side, “Gladiate,” takes the same level of texture and ruins it. What sounds like a trainwreck at the Circus, “Gladiate” is just plain busy –to much going on.

Overall, it’s hard to call Tetherball’s new EP definitive, important, or particularly interesting. It’s not bad, it’s just not favorable. It’s hard to buy into. That said, it’s definitely acceptable for many indie fans and should stay on the radar. Sadly, Physical Violins just isn’t a convincing release.

Rating: 6.5/10

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