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'Neath the Puke Tree - EP

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Album Review

The increasingly prolific Bill Callahan returns with the 'Neath the Puke Tree EP, his fourth 2000 release. Over the course of five songs, Callahan revisits Smog songs from the near and distant past and adds two new obsessive tales to his body of work. From the dramatically different version of Sewn to the Sky's "A Jar of Sand" to the subtler remake of the Red Apple Falls gem "I Was a Stranger," Callahan finds room for new interpretations of his material, in much the same way that Chan Marshall did on Cat Power's The Covers Record. New songs such as "Your Sweet Entrance" and "Orion Obscured By Stars" follow in a similar vein to Dongs of Sevotion's sparsest, subtlest moments; they creep up on you and slowly work their way into your brain. Though 'Neath the Puke Tree isn't a revelation in the way that EPs such as Kicking a Couple Around and Burning Kingdom were, its unadorned intensity is nevertheless riveting.


Formed: 1966 in Silver Spring, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

An under-recognized pioneer of the lo-fi revolution, Smog was essentially the alias of one Bill Callahan, an enigmatic singer/songwriter whose odd, fractured music neatly epitomized the tenets and excesses of the home-recording boom. Melancholy, poignant, and self-obsessed, Callahan's four-track output offered a peepshow view into an insular world of alienation and inner turmoil, his painfully intimate songs ping-ponging wildly through a scrapbook of childhood recollections, failed relationships,...
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'Neath the Puke Tree - EP, Smog
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