What Divine Engine
In the interest of avoiding preconceived notions, it should be pointed out that Industrial Tepee are not an industrial band. The name seems to serve as a dichotomy that's somewhat representative of the band's approach to music: "Industrial" as in methodical production, "Tepee" as in a no-frills housing.
Tepee's core duo, singer/songwriter/guitarists Tom Shaner and Bob Sharkey, produce wildly ambitious lo-fi rock that touches on influences as varied as Dire Straits, Jefferson Airplane, Hendrix, Bare Trees-era Fleetwood Mac, REM, Eric Clapton, and the Dave Mathews Band. "Crawling to Heaven," a strong opening track, has a blues-tinged rock feel. Psychedelic elements of "Everything is Best" are a welcome throw back to 60's folk rock, and "If You Want to Be Free?" is clearly an homage (intentional or otherwise) to the Grateful Dead. A bittersweet metaphorical lyric haunts "Swim (The Tide of Love)" as Shaner sings "When the tide of love is coming in/ I cannot swim." Flamenco-style acoustic guitar adds rich texture to the southwestern mood of "Viva Las Nowhere."
Throughout this collection of individual treasures, lyrics remain reflective and insightful. What Divine Engine is a music-book filled with new favorites that already feel like songs you've known and loved for years. Mother West Records, 132 West 26th Street, New York, NY Mother West Records; http://www.motherwest.com