Guimo

There's a Nip in the Air, Boy

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AllMusic Review by

There was a bit of an overload of the kind of indie rock Guimo offered in the late '90s and early 2000s: creepy, dusky, sleepy songs with an undercurrent of menace, delivered in a laconic and detached world-weariness and embroidered with tasteful guitar reverb and distortion. As such things go, though, Guimo's debut is pretty good, conjuring the seductive yet spooky kind of feel you'd associate with soundtracks to projects like Twin Peaks. Guimo's music is more a soundtrack of the mind, though, of a character moving through a murky underworld of dream-like but vaguely threatening temptations and disappointments. His soft, almost-spoken vocals can't help but sound like a modern, less-coarse Lee Hazlewood at times. The use of textures is creative, however, in the swamp folk guitars and haunting background moans and squeals that sound like combinations of the human voice and electronic modulation. These soundscapes, minimal yet misty and foreboding, can't help but recall some other familiar reference points, such as Tom Waits and (more obscurely) the Latin Playboys. The sadness of Ennio Morricone scores is also recalled by the two versions of "Land of Caesars," complete with whistling. Despite the numerous comparisons, the album's a worthy mood piece that can both soothe and unsettle, good for popping in the deck on late-night drives through desolate territory.