Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
October in the Catskill Mountains, the autumn weather closing in on this ridge of peaks on the cusps of the Appalachians and the scene set in the eyes of the visiting traveller, would perhaps be reminiscent Sanford Robinson Gifford’s famous painting. It would bring up the images of the Woodstock festival in Bethal or if particularly versed in the myths surrounding the area, then the old Native American squaw considering the spirits that hide and shift in the mists that descend quickly would send a shiver down the spine.
It is in those realms that the Catskill’s earn their power, keep their beauty and like that ancient squaw, and maintains an air of dignified mystery in the face of rapid and often disturbing change. It is in the mist that Days Like These is found to be soulful, reigning in the pleasure of peace, the long walk in the woods and relishing the remaining vestiges of sunlight upon the intrepid hero’s face; it is in the fleshed out Gifford painting that Philip Marino sends the shivers across oceans.
The five track E.P. doesn’t just grab the interest of the listener, it places it firmly in the mist, the mix of the personal and the story passed on is exquisite and forthcoming, never wavering and is as comfortable as it is persistent in its candid harmony.
Produced by Simone Felice in the same Catskill Mountains, Philip Marino takes the songs Everybody Knows, Hand Grenade, Hero, Long Road and the E.P. title track Days Like These on an adventure of pure Americana, of ghosts and myths, the shrouded tales, not the fast cars and the neon lights that have somehow come to typify what many now believe America, at its very least, stands for.
A tremendously heartfelt set of songs that weave a narrative embroidered in the gentle and the sweeping, the luxury of the hard hitting memory that has the safety catch on and one in which would hopefully see the reconciliation of two paths of American life that have been on a different path, one that is heading for collision if not taken seriously.
Ian D. Hall