[Editor's Note: So, here's the deal. In addition to being a staff member here at the Observer, Noah W. Bailey is a member of our music writing staff. He also happens to front The Naptime Shake, an act whose debut album is getting raves from a bunch of local music blogs. Presents us with quite the conflict: How can we review it without being biased? Truth is, we probably can't. So, instead, we've chosen to go the opposite route, and just let Noah, surely the most biased of all when it comes to his music, review the disc himself. Below, read his take in all its glory. Fair warning, though: It's not as adoring a review as you'd expect...]
The Naptime Shake's Blood and Panic is, quite frankly, music for old people.
Let's see: fingerpicked guitar, check. Wussy acoustic ballads (Hello, "Los Angeles"), check. Banjo, check. Hummable trumpet parts ("Mermaid of Virginia"), check. Tastefully played piano parts, check. Authentic Wilco-lite Americana sound, check. No samplers or danceable beats, check. No band members under the age of 28, check.
It's like Terry Gross compiled data from some Fresh Air focus group and built a band based on the outcome.
Meanwhile, lead singer Noah W. Bailey's voice is the perfect blend of bland and inoffensive. But what really get my grits are the lyrics, which feature everything from predatory woodland creatures to 1940s-era disaster tales. And The Naptime Shake is from Dallas. Have you ever seen any fucking bears ("Nourishment") or mountain lions ("Blood and Panic") in Dallas? I didn't think so.
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Plus, there's just no way a 28-year-old can convincingly sell the tales of doomed World War II-era sailors ("Wolves and Water") and dock workers ("Texas City"). You weren't there, dude. And no matter how much talent you surround yourself with--Jake Barnhart (Little Grizzly, American Werewolf Academy), Paul Burrough (Pleasant Grove), Glen Farris (Doug Burr), Chris Mayes (Pleasant Grove, Deathray Davies, The Boom Boom Box)--there's no getting around it: This is an album built on lies.
After the jump, take a listen to and enjoy a free download of one such lie.
Bonus MP3: The Naptime Shake -- "Hawks"