Remember the power Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf through a child’s ears. That forlorn yet hopeful mix of voices coming together, casting the wolf away from a hunter’s death and into the captivity of a zoo, where a baby duck can be heard from his belly.
Though Jamie Stewart stops short of swallowing Eugene S. Robinson whole, Stewart (Xiu Xiu) provides a warm womb for Robinson (Oxbow) in which to speak. The duo’s first foray as Sal Mineo, newly released via Important Records, is a tour de force in line with Prokofiev’s childlike narrative. Stewart’s clattering instrumentation is the accompaniment for Robinson’s youthful insight; the babbles and bashes of two men far more in tune with the natural world than you and I. Despite its experimental tone, Sal Mineo is tuneful and dare we say, catchy?
The creative bursts of these 24 tracks will have you picking favorites but it’s best to leave the narrative, as loose and freewheeling as it is, untouched.