Keith Welsh - Slow Dive
Brave Noise Records

I didn't want to do this review for the longest time because I
just don't believe in negative reviews.  They seem to be too destructive
and one person's opinion is more often than not taken for more than what
it really is: one person's opinion.  But don't get me totally wrong here,
Keith Welsh isn't "bad" per se, he just ain't great.  I think the real
problem I have with this release, actually, is something totally
independent of his musicianship or the style.  That, my friends, would be
the recording quality.  I know that some bands benefit from a certain
recording aesthetic, ie garage rock sounding like absolute shit. I can
understand that, but what gets me here is that Keith is playing a style of
music almost totally dependent on a good recording.  Unfortunately for
him, it just isn't there. He plays mellow acoustic stuff backed up by some
light drumming here and there, and it's not bad, really.  I have little
problem with his songwriting and singing (although I fear he does fall
into the singer/songwriter trap wherein the songs really start sounding
too close to one another); he's a talented guy for sure.  But in the first
song (which really is good), when the drums kick in, there is no force,
feel, or volume to them.  They sound totally insignificant and really
serve no more purpose than background clatter.  The weak recording even
minimizes the guitar, his only instrument on most songs, to an ultra-thin,
horribly understated noise-maker.  I don't mean to rag on this release,
cuz it isn't that bad, but the recording quality really takes away from
the whole.  This isn't meant to be entirely negative, and it really is
just one person's opinion.  Maybe his next record will boast a better
recording, because I would like to hear what his stuff sounds like when I
can hear it all.
...david smith...

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