THE HATHAWAY FAMILY PLOT – Bethlehem Is Burning

Self Release

Subtitle (invented by the reviewer): “A dream of Kevin”.

Which is all I got to grasp – at least until now – about the lone multi-instrumentalist from Buffalo, NY who fathered this collection of uncanny songs with hardly decryptable lyrics, the whole expressing a naive fragility not deprived of compositional know-how. Of the “few means for a good result” variety.

This course of unorthodox oneirism is loaded with drenched reverberations, muffled timbres, transfigured voices and graceful piano passages. Contrary to many people camouflaging a deficiency of skills via heavy processing, The Hathaway Family Plot seems to have definite ideas on the achievable results. It’s not shocking to learn that one of the methods applied for that purpose is a pronounced stylistic variability.

Yet there’s no real “style” in here. Vague scents of secluded reminiscence are permeated by a resonant opaqueness. Mesmeric iterations and feverish falsettos go hand in hand. A bizarre military march materializes among several surprises appearing entirely logical in the overall structure. No sign of gratuitous finesse, only Kevin’s ability to individuate – with a certain degree of precision – the correct timbral substances needed for a track to work.

And even when it doesn’t work, it does work. Not in a way you would normally fancy, more obeying to a contingent propensity to greet something uncommon. At times the desolation communicated by Kevin’s pianism may recall a cross of Biota’s Charles O’Meara (formerly Vrtacek) and some mouldy outtake from Genesis, Ant Phillips era.

However, do not really trust what I just wrote. The difficulty experienced in detailing complex nightmares the morning after is the same that suggests us to restrain our exegetic dysentery. That said, we formally invite everybody to listen to this album with the openness of his engenderer, a man not afraid to politely knock on someone’s door to share a vision that might hide a number of minor revelations for the customary handful of predisposed beings.

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