Howe’s duet with Neko Case on ‘Without A Word’ is the star of the show though, boasting a gorgeous melody that owes a lot to Gelb’s Tuscon roots.
Rating: 6 / 10
Edwin McFee, 07 Aug 2008
Twentieth Time Lucky: Howe Gelb enlists the help of neko case and isobel campbell to craft anoter cinematic desert classic.
It would take even a notorious music anorak like Paul Gambaccini years to map out Giant Sand’s family tree. This is the insanely prolific Howe Gelb’s twentieth studio effort under this moniker, but as with every other GS release, he has enlisted a rag-tag bunch of lo-fi luminaries to help out, including Neko Case, M. Ward and Isobel Campbell. This 13 song, 53-minute record recalls stories of good times and good friends by way of tremelo-soaked guitars, shivering drums and Howe’s ever-present desert-dry rasp.
Everything about Provisions is cinematic in nature. Images of gunslingers (‘Stranded Pearl’), illicit love affairs (‘The Desperate Kingdom Of Love’) and loneliness (‘Well Enough Alone’) haunt the album like old, friendly ghosts, and the musicianship is spot on throughout, with each player given space to breathe. Howe’s duet with Neko Case on ‘Without A Word’ is the star of the show though, boasting a gorgeous melody that owes a lot to Gelb’s Tuscon roots. Fans of Nick Cave and Cat Power will lap this up.