Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Merchandise:"After the End"
Their first album on the former goth label 4AD, the Tampa band gives me what I have wanted since the release of their Totale Nite ep, an entire album of well produced songs .It only makes sense considering they've headed into a more song focused direction. So what occurs is... they kick things off with a slightly Smiths like sway to the upbeat guitar phrasing of the opener.This song rides the lines in being almost to straightforward and poppy for me, but the dead pan vocal approach saves it.
"True Monument" picks up where the opener left off , carrying it back into the more morose sound and lyrical content I want from these guys. It takes them until " Green Lady" to really hit the sweet spot I know they are capable of. The melody is not as down trodden as some of the stuff from "Totale Nite" , in fact it is more introspective and only half as cynical. It's a little dreamier and more like the Cure in some ways.
They nail it on " Life Outside the Mirror". It is a dreary ballad of sorts , where Carson Cox even lets his voice float up into a falsetto. The guitar lingers on every not even in the solo. Oddly the pace picks up on "Telephone". It more like 80's pop. The chorus is pretty strong and the use of real drums works in the songs favor. It is different for the band, the solo even reminds me of something that would be on a Zappa album. Strange as this song is in it's Billy Joel mannerisms, it still gets pulled off well.
"Little Killer" whose video is featured below, is another upbeat and more straight forward rock like number. The vocals sell me on this despite the "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" accents to the guitar.Things slow back down on "Looking Glass Waltz" , which reminds me of a more slacker version of "Whiter Shade of Pale" , particularly when it comes to the keyboards in the back ground. The nuances in the vocals are subtle . but full of his personality.
The title track is more of an instrumental interlude with vocals only coming in during the final 15 seconds or so.A slower song with introspective and moody lyrics, that gradual picks up and allows his vocals to reach out of their more dead pan baritone. The song writing and the singing on this have all improved, live you can hear these guys have some chops and they are more displayed here. I';; go ahead and around it up to a 10.