Not bad, but not great. These lads were hard to peg from any angle. A few times Spoon came to mind, but I always pull out Spoon when I’m looking for an easy comparison (and I’m usually right). Something tells me these five guys from Providence don’t listen to Britt very much. Judging by the vocals, which at times were run through a synth a la Mr. Roboto Styx, maybe ELO, though their melodies are much too arch for that comparison. Upon reflection, they came off sloppy, but that’s more likely because they don’t mix well. Sometimes all I could hear was the bass — good thing the bassist (who looked like he should be in school) knew what he was doing. More often the mix of guitar/Rentals-style keyboards/moaning vocals/(too light) drums formed a cacophony of noise with a melody sort of running through it. I blame their age, though they’ve already accomplished a lot just getting on Secretly Canadian and recording at Tiny Telephone (John Vanderslice’s crib) with Jay Pellicci (Deerhoof, Erase Errata). The glimpses at their new EP were promising. If they keep it together and smooth out their sound, they could go places. Especially considering their stage charm. They managed to be downright cordial considering there was only about 25 people in attendance.
What else… How ’bout a quick CD review?
Spanish for 100, Metric (self-release) — A friend of mine has a band that he vehemently denies is alt country even though their twang is undeniable. I bet Spanish for 100 holds that same denial. Though their rhythms are straightforward, mid-tempo fare, the vocals are Wilco-esque and the guitar roar is only missing a pedal steel. In fact, the guitar work here is the most riveting part of the recording. On any given song, the guitar counters the vocals in a preordained sloppy approach, just banging into whatever feels right, off the beat or just behind it. There are a couple songs where the guitars seem to wander off in their own strange angles, pulled (eventually) back into the fold by the rhythm section. The final result is that Spanish has a tightfisted jam band essence about it, especially on “See Now (Live at the Crocodile)” that pulls together all the elements into a crowd-pleasing roar. Go ahead and clap. Produced by the Phil Ek. Rating: Yes
More CD reviews to come. Promise.
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