Thursday, March 17, 2011

Naomi- Hurts

The group Naomi was, Jason Daniello (vocals,guitar) Ben Hathorne (vocals,guitar) Jeff Romaniuk (drums) and Kelly Fagan (bass guitar)  Their album "Hurts" was released on Window Records in 1995, produced by the band and Stacy Parrish. Daniello a native of Grants is the best known member of Naomi. He's a veteran of the local scene having logged in studio work and recorded his own albums. Jason now makes his home in North Carolina where he still records and plays. The album opens with "Bella" I keep a list of what I consider the 25 best songs ever by Albuquerque based bands, I update it every now and then but this song always makes the cut; "Little Sister you got what it takes, let's ride and ride" It's a concise tune that leaves you happy and content. "Bella" was written by Ben Hathorne  and you quickly see a pattern developing, the shorter, faster songs are Ben's, the longer plodding songs are Jason's. The tone of the album is preachy, the song lyrics need  some sort of context or meaning, but they just go nowhere, one dead end after another.  "Christ" the album's second track has this line; "I've seen the pale ones in my house, I speak in my turn the sun is bright and the stage is brown"..Huh!? On "Shadow" Jason sings about his shadow (duh)  "there's a dry creek running through my head winding, turning, leading straight ahead" I bet that leaves him with some killer cotton mouth. Overall, the music is good, a modern take on folk rock, it reminds me of the mellow soft rock bands from the late 1970's.  It's a cool mix of acoustic and electric guitars with good vocals, the playing is competent and professional. However, with the exception of "Bella" the ridiculous lyrics just drag everything down. 
"My Little Friend" is a head scratcher "Is it a toy or a ball, does it move or does it walk, is it a boy, is it a girl or something more."Ben's song "The Sky" makes you roll your eyes; " The sky doesn't give a shit about me, maybe it shouldn't the sky's not a poet like me"  Ok, so what's wrong with that line? 1. the sky probably doesn't have the capacity to give a shit, so don't take it personal  2. You are not a poet! this is not poetry, Walt Whitman is a poet, Ben Hathorne is a shitty songwriter. There's a subtle difference but you see what I'm getting at. Daniello brings in a co-writer on "Gabriel" to no avail "I see the devil feeding on my soul, I ride the waves of broken glass no more" significant bummer!, Jason goes solo again on "All the Same" he opens with this mind boggling verse; "This is my last cigarette on the face of the earth till I find my right of way" best argument for a nicotine patch that I've heard yet. Feeling left out, Ben comes back with "This is What I Like" (I am not making these lyrics up!) "got you in the scope of my rifle, washing your car, look at those jeans they ain't got no pockets, I like it like that, you're so sweet" And the winner..err..loser is Ben the creepy stalker. "Feel so much better" left me feeling so much worse; " A little boy watches the sky upside down on a merry-go-round, touching the woe with his lips as he kisses the dirt" didn't his mother tell him to never touch woe with his lips? sadly there's more nonsense; "An older boy's having a Monday in school signed off to a new world again" I used that as an excuse after ditching once, the principal just laughed at me.  Word to the wise, when your lyrics are this bad, don't have them printed on the fold out. The word that best sums this up is: abysmal, wretched to the point of despair. "Hurts" is aptly titled, the listening experience is ruthlessly painful.