Archives for August 2004

The Mendoza Line – Fortune

The Mendoza LineFortuneThe more I listen to it, the more I come to believe that alt-country is to music what romantic comedy is to film: formulaic, predictable, but enjoyable if you’re able to look past the cookie-cutter nature of the genre. While there are some rare alt-country bands that are willing to push sonic boundaries and create wholly … [Read more...]

Funeral for a Friend – Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation

Funeral for a FriendCasually Dressed & Deep in ConversationFuneral for a Friend: emo kids brave enough to include Elton John in their list of confessions? Apparently not; while their name is indeed (half) the title of a soft-rock staple, Funeral for a Friend claims instead to be named after a song from post-hardcore band Planes Mistaken for … [Read more...]

The Race – If You Can

The RaceIf You Can“So you want to build the ark again / You say you want to start again / Go ahead go,” Craig Klein sings amid softly plucked guitar and bass notes on “Ark Again,” his voice revealing both the hurt and the resolve of someone who’s walked home to find a loved one walking out. That sense of predetermined isolation, embodied perhaps by … [Read more...]

Blow Up Hollywood – Fake

Blow Up HollywoodFakeI highly recommend, even if you never have a chance to hear this album, that you visit this band’s website. The flash intro and flash site itself are highly impressive, providing subtle philosophical commentary mixed with interactive sound and visual components. Bits of the band’s music are mixed in nicely, crafting the mood to … [Read more...]

Pedro the Lion – Achilles Heel

Pedro the LionAchilles HeelI have little to say about Pedro the Lion. This band has never been bad, but it has never been good, and for that reason its always frustrated the hell out of me. Achilles Heel, like all over Pedro releases I’ve heard, is a perfectly acceptable pop record that fails to engage me on pretty much every level. Nothing here … [Read more...]

Clinic – Winchester Cathedral

ClinicWinchester CathedralExperience has taught me to be wary of seemingly interesting, arty types. On several occasions, I’ve been so captivated by a person that I had pegged as compelling or wholly unique and chock full of insight, humor, and ideas hitherto unknown to myself or anyone else I’d associated with that I’d dive headlong into a … [Read more...]

Burning Brides – Leave No Ashes

Burning BridesLeave No AshesMy initial stab at college was a blur of parties, hung-over lectures, and cheating on a girlfriend I had back home. Burning Brides' latest offering forms a soundtrack for those nights when, to paraphrase the almighty Jesus and Mary Chain, you’re taking yourself to a dirty party of town where all your troubles won’t be … [Read more...]

Minus the Bear – They Make Beer Commercials Like This

Minus the BearThey Make Beer Commercials Like ThisIn the band's first release since its oft-acclaimed full length “Highly Refined Pirates,” Minus the Bear expands upon its already solid sound. If you’ve been living in a cave and haven’t heard of Minus the Bear, this is an up-beat band comprised of a veritable group of all-stars from the Seattle … [Read more...]

Astronaut – Times New Romance

AstronautTimes New RomanceRarely does music give me such a physical reaction as Astronaut’s Times New Romance. Almost immediately after the first track, “Leaving the Scene,” started to play, I felt myself relaxing. Astronaut plays a slow-core kind of dream-pop, with wide-open expanses of music, dream-like melodies, and expressive instrumentals. … [Read more...]

Ruth Ruth – Right About Now

Ruth RuthRight About NowI love it when a band has its heart in the right place. Ruth Ruth has been on a rollercoaster ride of labels, going from the indie mainstay Deep Elm to punk paradise Epitaph to even BMG. Guess where the band is now? You got it: independent. Ruth Ruth wanted to make an album free of pretentiousness, label influence, pressure, … [Read more...]