The Get Togethers – “Home as in Houston”

Holly is raving about The Get Togethers’ latest effort, “Home as in Houston.” Check out this record!

Holly Etchison

8
out of 10

The Get Togethers
Home as in Houston
September 24, 2013

When the ingredients of your life equal shipwreck, it might behoove you to take a step back, dig thru the rubble, take inventory, and chart a new course. If somehow this task seems too momentous, you can also put on The Get Togethers debut album, Home as in Houston. In a diary of songs named for the twelve months of the year (a particular year in a life), Bethany Frazier lays it plain, picks it up again, and sings her heart straight to yours and possibly any ghosts of the past. Giving memories flight with the inventive instrumentation of bandmates Daniel Frazier, Kayce Grossman, and Andrew Frazier, Bethany and company successfully dodge the pedantic pitfalls sometimes surrounding emotion ridden confessional songs with hooks and catches that weave a musical story not completely predictable in its outcome.

From the opening track’s devastated, hollow start, “nowhere, nowhere, January,” to the measured resolve of “December,” Bethany’s voice rises like the phoenix from the flames, shimmering with resurrection light. Shades of new wave female vocalists are happily revived on each track with surprising “woo-oos” (“April” is a standout in this regard–we almost have an Irish warbler here) alongside drum crescendos and guitar that remind of 10,000 Maniacs goodness. Up tempo moments belie pathos and pain laid bare for the listener to sort thru while tapping your foot or steering wheel. The driving build up in “March” matches the angry confusion of the lyrics- maybe someone would even think of kicking in a speaker by the end.

Half a year and an album are almost gone by “May“- “this is where our world ends, I saw it over and over again,” and the shift is heard even mid-song, with a buildup of guitar, determined, path marking drumbeat and trumpets that send things soaring. For just a moment in “June” you are at the beginning of “Fernando” with Abba. Just for a moment. Then the boppiness of early Elvis Costello takes over. Something new has occurred and you feel it as the singer proclaims “how beautiful.” The easy rocker “July” with a recitation of Humpty Dumpty sentiments (see: Aimee Mann), almost startles with a nice choral group effort and a mod rock guitar ending.

Victory is found, at least in sound, by the frenzied end of “August”; a hollered refrain- “you were stuck too”- garners attention as a breakthrough. Pressing onto “November,” the isolated verses and far away voice, “You say it’s all my fault But one day you’ll stand before God,” create a cathartic, definitive conclusion to upheaval and unrest.

Lyrically picturesque and musically sharp throughout, the sum of the parts to Home as in Houston is an adventure into a heart, and out of a heart. We want to be like the children Holden Caulfield catches in the rye- sometimes we are caught in ways we wouldn’t expect, or picked up after we fall. From the place of brokenness can come a balm- the oil of joy for mourning, beauty for ashes-it is here for Bethany Frazier, her companions, and anyone who listens to this more than promising debut.

-Holly Etchison, November 6, 2013