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Provisions

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Album Review

Every few years for more than 20 years now, Howe Gelb and company emerge from the Arizona desert (and/or Denmark) to offer up another Giant Sand album. Provisions is their 16th or so, and it's more of the same desert-fried late-night country-rock poetry. Gelb's sense of wordplay and rhyming is as unique as his close-miked sprechstimme. His production eccentricities have been smoothed out a bit and the album is on the mellow side for about the first two-thirds or so. Things really kick into gear for the last part of the album when the energy picks up and the production gets a bit more elaborate, finishing the album on a high note. An oddball project, Giant Sand have kicked around from label to label for decades, but they've always managed to do things their way. Provisions is Gelb's vision, and it's been remarkably clear for a good long time now.

Customer Reviews

Howe's Wit Far Outweights That of the First Two Commentators

I just got this, so I can't say if it's the best Giant Sand album or a lesser work. However, I can say that like all Giant Sand albums from the Covertino/Burns era on, it's the sort of expression one should expect from Howe Gelb: country rock dissonant melodic charming kinda crazy at times with a bit of wonder too and nice folks helping out. In this case, most of the last are Scandinavian, I believe. The songs present nothing unexpected, but they're wholly enjoyable, if you're a fan, and wholly in sync with the music on "Chore of Enchantment" and "GS is All Over the Map." Why then the witless slams in place of reasoned comments, O noble predecessors in this space? C'mon!

DON'T BUY THIS

All I can say is i want my money back...

Just discovered recently: what a find!

In the tradition (though perhaps not the idiom) of the late great Frank Zappa, I think Howe Gelb and his rotating cast of musicians make music that is so original and slyly subversive that many people don't know what to think. The quirky, sometimes-low-fi, almost-out-of tune sound masks a highly talented and wryly humorous musician and songwriter who obviously cares about what he puts out. You can hear this in the production nuances that are hidden like Easter eggs in every song. For those who felt they wasted their dough, I would suggest you review the product before laying down the bucks! Anyways, Bravo to Howe and thanks!

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Tuscon, AZ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Giant Sand was the primary outlet for the stylistic curveballs and sun-damaged songcraft of Howe Gelb, a Pennsylvania-born singer/guitarist who formed the four-piece Giant Sandworms after relocating to Tucson, Arizona in the mid-'70s. After releasing the EP Will Wallow and Roam After the Ruin in 1980, Gelb fired everyone but bassist Scott Gerber (although founding guitarist Rainer Ptacek returned to the...
Full bio