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avestin View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Cerberus Shoal
    Posted: October 08 2007 at 19:53
CERBERUS SHOAL is a band I am still getting to know and need more listens of the albums I have by them (The Land We All Believe In, Homb  and Chaiming the Knoblessone).
The first I heard by them, though was The Land We All Believe In and it first made me doubt if I can get their musical vision, their style which on that album is perhaps not the most representative, but still.
So, I am still "studying" them and getting to know them more.
 
What's your take on them? What albums of their you like and/or dislike? What do you make of their music?
 
 
 
Here's their PA bio:
"
Cerberus Shoal was formed in mid 1994; where the collective came together in Boston. Caleb Mulkerin relocated from his native South Portland while Chris Sutherland and Thomas Roger were in attendance at universities in surrounding areas. While their final member Josh Ogden made his weekly travels from Falmouth to attend band rehearsals. After smoothing out the fixtures of the band, they played their first show in March 1995. Working freely through the punk scene of Ebullition Records and "Book your own f**king life" they went on to release their first Self titled 12-inch record and continued to tour for the remainder of the 95 summer.

With the transition of Kristen Hedges 'in' and Orgden 'out' we were to see the second (of many) incarnations of Cerberus Shoal. Within the next 6 months, time was spent preciously with the singles "Light House in Athens Part one and two" along side the first full length album being written and released. In quick concession they released their next album "And Farewell to the Hightide" on tree records in the summer of 96; featuring the newest musician David Mulder (piano, organ and conga). Continuing to tour, promoting their albums they sadly were to lose the creative mind of Hedge as quickly as she came. Grieving the loss of their first seemingly full line-up the now four piece pushed in through the continuum of 96 spanning in 97 recording many minor releases while also writing "Breathing Machine" and "Never a Solution".

In May 97 glimpses were seen of Cerberus Shoal's next full line-up. The band plunged into a series of collaborations with the Portland based Band "Tarpigh". The two groups agree heartily to work
on two soundtracks for Tim Folland's abstract short films "Elements of Structure" and "Permanence". Setting themselves in front of the TV with the hope to enhance their creative collections, creating two 20 - 30min improvisational pieces. Through the relative success of the project a spark was kindled between the two bands. Originally neither band intended the separate release of the performance pieces. But label "Audio Information Phenomena" released the sound track record "Element of Structure/Permanence" in 98.

Within a matter of weeks, with a six month tour looming in the summer Mulder made his pardons, making his departure final. Now a three piece the group was desperate to keep the ball rolling. With the new bond formed with "Tarpigh" fresh in their minds, a hand was extended for them to hit the road. With Just two weeks notice, Thomas Kovaceric (guitar, oud, zamponya and vocals) and Tim Harbeson (Trumpet, Keyboard, Shakhhachi and accordion) uprooted their lives and joined the troupe. Through this kind gesture Cerberus Shoal was to find themselves a six piece. This was to be their first solid line-up lasting for some three years, living their lives through the expressing of their art. Three records were written, recorded and released: "Homb", “Crash My Moon Yacht" and “Mr. Boy Dog"

After three creative years, due to the usual pressures placed upon musicians, the six piece went on their separate ways. So once again in the winter of 2000 Mulkerin and Rogers went on the hunt for new artist; to finally silicate the help of artist/musician Colleen Kinsella, bassist and vocalist Erin Davidson and writer/conceptionliser Karl Greenwald to create the new driving force for their tour in the coming spring. All the time while touring the bond between the group strengthened; so two and a half months, 36 show and 13 different countries later the world was again to see yet another incarnation of Cerberus Shoal.

2002 was to see the band begin upon a split CD series in cooperation with "North East Indie" (label). It was an attempt to collaborate with many like minded artists around the world. As a result there were to be four split CD's with Herman Dune "The Hows and Whys of Herman Dune and Cerberus Shoal", Alvarious B (Alan Bishop of the 'Sun City Girls') "The Vim and Vigour of Alvarious B and Cerberus Shoal", Guapo "Ducks and Drakes of Guapo and Cerberus Shoal" and finally Magic Carpathians "The Life and Times of The Magic Carpathians and Cerberus Shoal". Throughout these splits we were to see some of Cerberus Shoals most experimental and testing works to date.

Amidst the line of splits the new incarnation was able to record another two full length releases which were released simultaneously in the fall of 2003, which represented the entirety of this new Cerberus Shoal's compositions spanning from 2001-03: "Claiming the Knobless One" and "The Bastion of Itchy Preeves".

After the fall of 2003 due to newly induced family duties Tom Rogers was forced to make his permanent departure from the band. This was a sever jolt to the band but keeping true to their ideals Cerberus Shoal went on again to find two new musicians and continued upon their tour schedule playing many times with the likes of Sun City Girls. The two new additions to the band were Chris Mainer and Drummer Tim Morin.

Returning safely from touring the band was given some down time. Sutherland and Mulkerin with the help of Jim Begley and Paul Agnew of North East Indie, re-mixed and remastered Cerberus Shoal's first 12-inch LP, now named "Rosetta Stone". It was renamed and released in the fall of 2004. Shortly afterwards with the help of Scott Colburn (with who they had done much work with before) immersed themselves in the studio for a rapid fire three weeks which was to result in Cerberus Shoals 11th studio album, "The Land We All Believe In"

Cerberus Shoal sound is something every hard to pigeon hole into one genre. Ranging form Post-rock, improvised experimental and avant-garde. Always possessing an uncanny darkness; playing perfectly through sadistic humour. Cerberus Shoal show an impressive innovation taking the art is life mentality to its fullest; creating a fulfilling experience for listeners interested in the more challenging and emotional side of musical compositions.
"
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2007 at 20:06
Well if people have followed my tastes over the last few years, they might have noticed my high regard for this band, hence the massive bio I wrote. I personally am more attracted towards their later material, which is in an avant and quirky vain, while still fusing their prior post-rock sound.

For me their two crowning achievements are Elements of Structure/Permanence and Chaiming the Knoblessone

I find the split releases a little hit and miss. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2007 at 20:09
Originally posted by Black Velvet Black Velvet wrote:



For me their two crowning achievements are Elements of Structure/Permanence and Chaiming the Knoblessone

I find the split releases a little hit and miss. 
 
I have liked Chaiming the Knoblessone when listening to it before but haven't really listened to it properly to remember it well or to think highly of it, but I will dive into it to have proper listen.
 
After that I'll see about Elements of Structure/Permanence.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2007 at 22:44
Sadly without any audio samples, here's their Myspace
 
Some sounds are available here - http://www.northeastindie.com/cs/archived.htm
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 08 2008 at 18:00
You can hear several albums for free at last.fm.
 
Cerberus Shoal (the debut) is the right answer.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 08 2008 at 23:34
I just gave Bastion of Itchy Preeves a listen (on last.fm), great stuff.  Like Chaiming but slightly better, IMO.  It doesn't get bogged down like Chaiming does.

I also listened to Elements of Structure/Permanence earlier tonight and it's now my new favorite.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2008 at 01:38
they have quite an output and have changed drastically, my favorites are probably Chaiming the Knoblessone and Bastion of Itchy Preeves, I also love the split CD w/Alvarius B, both parts of that CD slay, its also the first time I heard Cerberus Shoal and have been a fan ever since, The Land We All Believe In is probably their most accessible album as they force in some hooks and structure the songs around catchy chorus's, I like it a lot  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2008 at 01:43
Originally posted by Pnoom! Pnoom! wrote:

You can hear several albums for free at last.fm.
 
Cerberus Shoal (the debut) is the right answer.


their debut is great too! probably their most youthful and invigorating release, I don't listen to it as often as I should,
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2008 at 01:47
True, although I just relistened to Elements of Structure/Permanence and it is my new favorite.

Very few bands are as consistent of Cerberus Shoal (I've heard six, it will be seven or even eight soon), and all are B (****) or better in my book, with EoS/Permanence as an A- (****1/2)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2008 at 19:49

For anyone who's interested it looks like most of Cerberus Shoal is back in business as Fire on Fire.

Tongue 

Besides what's on mySpace there's a track from their first CD here.

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