Welcome to the third full-length by Kid Icarus (longtime project of lo-fi psych rambler and Summersteps Records founder Eric Schlittler). The Metal West forms a loose conceptual framework which explores the magnificent surreality inhabitanting a long dead, half-real place, revealing a cast of characters that are flawed, mortal, injured, confused, and addicted. Desperate, but ultimately human... walking the worn footsteps of the less beaten auditory path with the shadows of Robyn Hitchcock and Scott Walker, humming along with the inventions of such like-minded artists as Sonic Youth, Plush and Brother JT. Stretching from the the fuzzy lo-fi 4-track confines of Maps of the Saints (1999) and Be My Echo (2002), Schlittler opts for the combination of both his trusty home-grown recording technique and a bold step into Hi-Fi recorded material. The result is fresh and cohesive, a combination of bedroom intimacy and fuzz driven rock with nods to John Cale's Paris 1919, George Harrison's Living In The Material World, Neil Young's On The Beach and Elvis Costello's Blood and Chocolate. After eight industrious Kid Icarus cassette and CD releases with the Summersteps label over the past decade, Schlittler has turned his Summersteps label into a communal orphanage of sorts for wayward loners and troubadours, including two significant Jandek tribute compilations, among other obscure cult releases. With The Metal West, Schlittler demonstrates a newfound growth and maturity for Kid Icarus, supported by a loyal cast of friends, fellow musicians, and artists who are all part of an emerging community growing in the sleepy coal towns of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Reclusive psychedelic guru, Psychatrone Rhonedakk, (who recently released a CD on Summersteps with fellow cosmic traveler Cotton Casino of The Acid Mothers Temple) contributes primitive Moog synths to the album's closing track and Chuck Keller of The Green Chair adds electric piano and fuzz keys, and of course the mainstays of the Kid Icarus ranks: guitarist Justin Marchegiani, long time musical collaborator Ted Baird on bass, and drummer Thad Moyer. Eric's longtime muse, sometimes collaborator, and painter Miss Cassie Rose Kobeski has created, along with the cover painting, a series of mixed-media images-further drawing the listener into the world of The Metal West.
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