the scribbled out man
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the scribbled out man

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The best kept secret in music

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"all different!"

ALL DIFFERENT!
THE SCRIBBLED OUT MAN (INDEPENDENT) Rating: NNNN
The award for best packaging of the week goes to locals the Scribbled Out Man, whose charming All Different! disc is an exhilarating collage of deer photos, pages from old novels, textbook lessons (my copy has an explanation of "antithesis"), Trivial Pursuit cards and more. They throw in a birthday candle and match, presumably so you can celebrate how good their record is. The record demonstrates the same slapdash ingenuity, with a slew of trippy Leslie amp effects and field recordings courtesy of Rheostatic and multi-instrumentalist Don Kerr. The tunes themselves have a Beatles Through The Ages vibe, jumping between jangly pop and blissed-out psych rock with layers and layers of Beach Boys harmonies. It's warm and fuzzy, and familiar without seeming tired – kinda like getting a giant hug from a dude in a bear suit.

The Scribbled Out Man play the Cameron House tonight (Thursday, July 8).

SARAH LISS

NOW | JUL 8 - 14, 2004 | VOL. 23 NO. 45 - now toronto


"som"

Review by Gregory McIntosh
Occasionally an album will fall from the ether and tear apart any cynical notion that truly innovative music is no longer created with the same finesse and accessibility as albums that have had years to prove their worth. The root of this cynicism surely is twofold: first, because the major labels that hold the reins of the popular market are generally adverse to taking risks, instead seeking artists who follow a very narrow, precut path; and second, because it has become so inexpensive to record and distribute an album that the independent market has become inundated with music, most of which is below the standards of the listening public willing to dig around below the radar. Of course, there is an upside to the latter -- interesting artists who might never have found an outlet for their material can release their goods to the public, and even though these releases may swim amidst a plethora of substandard material out there, they at least see the light of day. With their debut release, All Different, the Scribbled Out Man from Toronto, Ontario, represent the upside of the dense indie market. The album's title is a proud reference to the hand-assembled packaging that makes each unit unique; each CD has artwork pieced together from various random objects pasted to the sleeve. A review could be written about the diligence of this feat alone, but great packaging never saved a boring record, and it is with this in mind that one can easily say that the work put into presentation here is merely an extension of the passionate meticulousness and high standards the Scribbled Out Man clearly have for their project. The band's upfront approach on All Different explores experimental editing and lightning-fast changes similar to Of Montreal, but where Of Montreal sometimes sound as if their changes were never fully thought out, the Scribbled Out Man make every progression count, as if each short section is a miniature song in itself. Some beautiful and intricate arrangements, from various keyboards to strings and horns, force their way out here and there, but the meat of the music is a rock trio. There are also instances of the Flaming Lips, XTC, and Elvis Costello that occasionally pop from the nooks and crannies, but really, the Scribbled Out Man have built an overall context very much extended beyond their influences. The lovely backing vocals that wash over the majority of the tracks and the alternately smooth and grainy guitars further forge All Different into an atmospheric, dynamic, iridescent, and confident indie pop/rock saga by a group apparently unwilling to settle for anything but the utmost creativity. Hooray for the Scribbled Out Man. - allmusic


Discography

all different - lp - 2004
circa 65 - ep 2005

www.zunior.com video

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The Scribbled Out Man is a fab new rock group from toronto. The group has four members and each man plays a musical instrument and sings... And when the sounds of these instruments and voices blend together in harmony - the resulting effect has been called "serendipitous".

Bassist Douglas Friesen says,"I feel one of our strong points is our facility with the art of musical arranging. This talent gives our ensemble a crucial edge - in concert and in the studio. Linklater can write songs for us in a broad array of styles - folk rock, psychedelic folk rock, power-pop, and even bitchin' cock rock- and we can always deliver a tight, poppin arrangement... with just the right vocal and instrumental colours!"

The "Linklater" to which he refers is Paul. This shaggy haired fella provides electric guitar playing for The Scribbled Out Man.

"I also play acoustic guitar too!", he says. To some it might seem implausible that one young man can play two different instruments in the same band- now just imagine what it would be like if there was a person who could play virtually every kind of instrument on the market today. Well wait till you get a load of multi-instrumentalist Janstorm Isley at next Scribbled Out Man concert. He is that dude.

"To me," intones this denizen of European Jazz, "I scoff at rock. To play rock, I can use virtually any instrument with equal talent. ha, ha ha to play such simple music. To me, each different instrument is like a different flavour of, what you say... candy?"

Judging by that previous statement, one might think the scribbled out men are Jazz snobs. I have a feeling that the following statement, made recently by percussionist Don Kerr, with dispell that notion.

"God I hate Jazz!" howl'd the fiery scotsman. "I only like good solid rock. Its the only music that tells the truth...the only style that really gets me goin in the mornin"

"Well what about Hard Bop?"

"Hard Bop! Hard fookin' Bop? I'll hard bop you, ya wanker!"

Anyway you can imagine what happened next! But lets face facts. This Bio has gone on long enough and sure, I could sit here puttin' together vignettes about the Scribbled Out Man all day long till I was blue in the face. But there's only one thing I know for sure: those dudes have got style.