Caustic Resin

Trick Question

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Most people know Caustic Resin only through their collaboration with Built to Spill or through frontman Brett Netson's work on several Built to Spill releases. While the assumption that Caustic Resin is only Built to Spill's lesser sibling is certainly unfair, its also understandable. With the exception of Netson's voice, Caustic Resin sounds like Built to Spill's less adventurous side. But the vocal will probably be enough to turn most people off to the Idaho natives. Netson's voice is scratchy, straining, and angry -- a less charismatic Axl Rose. When compared to Doug Marstch's voice, its easy to see why Built to Spill is in the indie rock elite and Caustic Resin is on the fringe; when faced with a choice between a vulnerable, sugary, high-pitched strain or a deep gravelly yell, it becomes obvious. With Trick Question, Netson does his best to leap from Martsch's shadow into the limelight. The styling of the record is extremely eclectic. Influences range from Dinosaur Jr., Nick Cave, to even Can. The recording process for Trick Question is a good indicator for how so many sounds emerged on one record. Instead of sitting down in the studio and writing together, each band member went off and wrote his own stuff, each member allotted a certain number of songs. Each then brought the songs back to the group, where they laid it down on the spot. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. "Nice Wings" uses a collage of found sounds -- clipping shears and a shotgun blast -- to form a marching beat. It is easily the most accomplished and inventive song on the record, a cross between Roxy Music and David Bowie. Unfortunately, the majority of the songs are forgettable, but the two or three standouts should be enough to attract new fans to another of Idaho's treasures.

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