My first reaction was I don’t like this at all. I then put the disc away and started thinking about what I would write. I considered adding this write-up to my never-ending series of “I don’t get it” reviews, but that would be dishonest. The problem is I do get it and I don’t like most of it.
The album starts off with what I can only describe as “edgy music” for hipsters. The kind of sound that is somewhere between a jam band and alternative rock. Technically the songs are played well, but they offer nothing. All of the techniques are here to thrill the crowds. Techniques such as “let’s play really soft and then rock out now and then.” Ultimately it is a dog chasing its own tail. Kind of fun but it gets old quick.
But then track three, “j.o.y.,” kicks in and you scratch your head. It’s hard to pinpoint it, but this song simply works. The design is simple in nature (repetitive drum machine-type beat, guitar stirrings and low vocals) but the emotion really creates something special. I wish the last two tracks were of this caliber. So, the next track, “For Mable,” is just confusing and makes me sad. The influences are obvious and the sound is derivative. One day Andrew Bird will hear this song and not remember writing it. What makes me sad is that it is clear that this band has talent but does not apply it. It is great to be influenced by someone but you have to make it your own. If you don’t then you might as well be a cover band. The last song, “Sunday,” is actually somewhat interesting but doesn’t work for me. I won’t hold that against it though. I like the fact that it is somewhat different than the others while offering originality.
I know all of this is kind of harsh but I really found this a hard album to listen to. Not because it was challenging, but because it was too reminiscent of what I don’t like about semi-commercial alternative music. I do believe the band has talent and I do hope they keep making music. Especially if they make more music like “j.o.y.” My advice is to pay the 99 cents and download the track. 3/10 -- Daniel De Los Santos (8 September, 2010)