Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Morose erudition, jangly folkish introspection
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 09/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have a promo copy without titles, which is strange if you want to tell others about a record in any detail! But, track 4 sounds like a lost cut off REM's "Life's Rich Pageant" with its narrative, vocal mannerisms, churning guitar, unassuming but efficient rhythm section, and steady direction. Track 6 is janglier, more optimistic at least in sound. This CD tends to be gloomy in content, but the sound, as others note correctly, manages to boost up the pace thanks to guitar strumming. Track 10 also is a bit quicker, and this helps to balance many of the slower tunes, which get dirge-like and risk becoming turgid. The only drawback of this approach is the similarity of many tracks. Without an assertive singer, the band's affect risks navel-gazing mope sessions. I happen to like the folkish underpinnings of this softer understated genre, but I'd warn off anyone wanting more of a louder, Superchunk, style of indie rock.
The vocals may annoy if you do not like Michael Stipe or Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna) types of morose erudition. The aptly-named band's background as law students when they made this shows in their careful, if button-down delivery. (See the wonderfully droll liner notes that comprise the cover of their last album, Pleasure of Ruins, for a band history.) But, if heard in the right mood, very late at night or before dawn, it can conjure up an atmosphere that speaks, in lyrics and musical feel, of sand, shore, waves, and distant lands, as the title accurately summarizes."