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Hell Train

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 15, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hell Train, Soltero's fourth and most dynamic album, is based on eight photographs given to Tim by an former East German doctor during a hike in the White Mountains in October, 1998. Hell Train is the marriage of nervous love songs, summer pop, fuzzy chaos, and reckless romanticism.

Hell Train was written by Tim Howard and recorded by Jesse Kudler and Tim Shea, and originally released by Tim in a short run of 500 hand-packaged CDs in early 2005.

Review

...every second of [Hell Train] is the work of one of the best songwriters you've still never heard of. -- Andrew Magilow, Splendid

...everything from upbeat, sun-drenched harmonies and catchy hooks to gritty introspective ballads.... one of my 2005 favorites. -- Lisa Town, Left Off The Dial

...this album reaches new heights in terms of production and musicianship.... Hell Train is undoubtedly their best to date. -- Joe Sullivan, Junkmedia

Wonderfully complex songs that sound oh, so deceptively simple... -- Jon Worley, Aiding & Abetting

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. If I Had A Chance
  2. The Prize
  3. From The Station
  4. Bleeding Hearts
  5. Michael
  6. Step Through The Door
  7. Hands Up
  8. A Single Good Evening
  9. 4 o'clocker (Interlude)
  10. Acadian Coast
  11. Songs Of The Season
  12. Ghost At The Foot Of The Bed
  13. Rosie Day


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 15, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: November 15, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Three Ring Records
  • ASIN: B000BIXNG4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,930 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is "Hell Train," by Soltero, and I have to say, quite honestly, that it's some of the best music I have ever heard. Period.
Soltero has always been good, from his early releases under the names The Taco Cat and Tim Howard, to Soltero's early Mobius Band-Backed "Science Will Figure You Out," to the sad, dynamic, horn-filled "Defrocked and Kicking the Habit," to the wispy and quiet Mamas and the Papas-influenced "Tongues You Have Tied."
But now.... Now....
This is something different. Different, and even better. And not just different for Soltero either--different for music. This is an album that makes me want to write a manifesto, to rant, to copy the album a thousand times and force the copies onto everyone I know.
These songs are the work of a musical genius who will one day be esteemed and revered along with the very best of modern music. The sound of Hell Train could be compared to a lot of bands--East River Pipe, Pavement, Neil Young, Yo La Tengo, The Beach Boys, The Magnetic Fields, Elliott Smith--and yet, it can be compared to no one.
No one sounds like this. No one sounds this good.
This a cohesive album that ties itself together in a thousand ways, that flows and rocks, challenges and excites. It will make you feel good, it will make you feel sad, it will make you think, it will make you press "Repeat All" and never want to leave the room. The structures of the songs are always original--often like nothing you've ever heard before--the instrumentation is inspired and unique, Tim Howard's voice is always dead on and sardonic and genuine, and the songs' lyrics couldn't be more clever or more original.
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Format: Audio CD
Sitting on the floor in Keith Harrelson's office one Monday afternoon, I discovered Soltero. We were going through submissions for booking and though my boss was not won over by Tim Howard's searching vocals and swaggering, playful melodies, I was in love. I took the EP home with me and played it over and over. Soon after I received two of his albums, "Tongues You Have Tied" and "Defrocked and Kicking the Habit".

I found that within his songs, Tim wrote his listener letters full of vibrant description and conversation. He simply relayed his hopes, intentions, and fears within the context of a crunchy, headwagging, cursive song. He told crazy stories or sad reminders with a deep, complex arrangement. Sure, you expect a song, the music, to embody the message...but with his songwriting, especially on his latest album, Hell Train, so much thought is put into everything. His mood is interwoven with every seperate sound and instrument, from the tiptoeing, austere organ slowly descending in the background of "Step Through the Door" to the faint dinking of a slightly offkey piano behind the sixties swagger of "Hand's Up".

This is an extraordinary album, one that I often find myself singing and dancing and scaring other drivers with as I make my trip home from work, and it also leaves me with a fresh familiarity..It has a strange ability give me dreams of slow, sad memory. It grabs every side, every emotion and leads them all together to a beautiful solemn end.
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Format: Audio CD
Soltero's been toiling away for some time--this in fact is his fourth album. He needs to be discovered soon, folks. He needs a contract with a major label. He deserves it.

This without a doubt is his best work to date. It starts out a little mellow with "If I Had a Chance" then gets raucous with "From the Station"--a psychedelic, L.A. sunshine sort of classic, the likes of which we've never heard from Soltero before. Well, maybe we have, but not this heightened, not this intense, not this euphoric. What's going on? I'll tell you what--the whole album is basically like this. Euphoric. Even when it's not, it is. Check out "Hands Up" and the freakout at the end at "Ghost at the Foot of the Bed." Or better yet, the freakout at the end of "Bleeding Hearts." No one is making music this good these days. No one. This blend of musical craftmanship and care along with sometimes scathing, sometimes heartbreaking lyrics, just isn't available from most artists recording music today. Check this one out.
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