Chris Bathgate – A Cork Tale Wake
Record Label: Quite Scientific Records
Release Date: June 26, 2007
Keep it simple, stupid. Pretty good advice for the most part. Sometimes less really is more. An apparent adherent to the KISS rule is Chris Bathgate. Chris isn’t stupid and he writes some relatively simple music. Utilizing repetitive loops and decently short song times, he lets his voice do the talking (…go figure).
A Cork Tale Wake is young Bathgate’s third full-length release and it’s a pretty solid one at that. The album is instantly likeable from the piano driven first track, “Serpentine”, and it doesn’t let go after that. The rest of the songs follow in much of the same suit; stripped down with liberal amounts of acoustic guitar, piano, strings, and even a little horn work here and there. And while the instrumentation is great, its main purpose is to compliment Bathgate’s voice. Songs like “Cold Fusion” and “Restless” are good until the vocals are added to the mix… suddenly they’re amazing.
Due to my attention span being dangerously in the red, I’m a fan of shorter songs and albums. A Cork Tale Wake is right on the money; 40 minutes overall with an average song length of about three and a half. For the most part, this prevents from repetition and the resulting boredom. Although, because of the repetitious nature of a lot of the guitar and drum beats, this is still a minor problem on a few tracks.
With tunes along the same vein of artists such as Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Denison Witmer, and the like, many listeners will find Chris Bathgate instantly accessible and enjoyable. A Cork Tale Wake is one of the best under-the-radar releases of 2007 thus far.