Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
These lads called The Shed Dwellers make some pretty off kilter, yet beautiful music. It is a little spoken word, 77 English punk, and country. It reminds me of the Kinks when they were in their “country” phase. It is definitely infectious. Behind the vocals are very beautiful musical layers of background singers, percussion, and bells. I definitely am gathering a whole lot of Daniel Johnston vibe going on. Let’s not forget Lou Reed.
The Shed Dwellers are John Henry Westhead of Clerks fame and Paul “The Quiet Busker” Smyth. These guys aren’t only fine actors, they are darn good songwriters and musicians. Bike Messenger (Track 8) is a scary, habit forming song about the trials and tribulations of being a bike messenger in New York City. It is part Shakespeare and part acid trip. It is a very psychedelic song with a spoken word poem set in front of some seriously hypnotic and groovy music.
It is a little bit primitive, but I found beauty in its simplicity. One of the lyrics is, and I quote, “doin’ doodly squat”. To use that effectively takes real talent and The Shed Dwellers are bathing in talent up to their solar plexus. I am going to add another name to the sound trolley: Captain Beefheart. Not necessarily in the vocal stylings, but more in the way that there are almost two songs going on. One is the vocal song and the other song are the instrument tracks. The two songs seem to compete with each other at first. But the next listen reveals that the two elements are actually dancing a very delicate dance between dissonance and harmony. And it works!