Modern Superstitions
All The Things We've Been Told


3.0
good

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
October 22nd, 2010 | 12 replies | 4,805 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As a denizen of Sputnik, I feel compelled to make a public service announcement:

A visit to Modern Superstitions' official website will currently yield nothing more than a short message which - despite a serious lack of length - somehow manages to be bold, ambitious, and rather sheepish all at once.

That message is, "Under Construction", and - quite unsurprisingly - it also represents the best bit of summary analysis that one can give this four-piece band from Toronto. It requires some serious effort, but upon repeated listens of this EP it gradually becomes clear that one might actually be tuning in to Ontario's answer to Mother Mother, as All The Things We've Been Told packs much of the same hypnotic punch and sassy style which has made the B.C. quintet such a compelling artist to listen to. Taking the initiative and building on a promising sound, Modern Superstitions then further underscores their melodic abilities with some solid song-writing and excellent technical work, which is particularly evident on the record's catchy and beat-laden numbers like "Beck & Call" and "Visions of You". In Nyssa Rosaleen Modern Superstitions have also found an excellent vocalist who is constantly sleek and enchantingly electric, even during the record's weak moments - and it is fair to say that there are actually a fair few of them.

For one, it has to be said that the overall sound which Modern Superstitions have produced for this EP doesn't really vary all that much; more bafflingly, it sometimes even contrives to sound a bit forced - which is quite deflating to observe as the record is actually only some 20 minutes long. The dynamic sense of chemistry on All The Things We've Been Told is also heavily undermined by the band's severe lack of a unique performative identity: indeed, virtually everything on the record - from guitarist Matthew Aldred's tuned-down guitar to Zack Burgess' staccato drumming (although polished and very well done) - is really just a re-charting of territory that we're all probably too familiar with already. It really is quite a shame to watch this EP lurch around from start to finish, willfully presenting itself as a machine that repeatedly churns out tired and well-used hooks, despite the omnipresent veil of youthful zeal and dynamic energy that surrounds it.

In other words, a photocopier by any other name is still a photocopier.

But if I had to put a descriptive tag on this release, I would suggest that All The Things We've Been Told be labeled as "the sound of a new band being born". It is a solid and thoroughly commendable effort, but will ultimately only be remembered as the record which made it unequivocally clear to Modern Superstitions that their next studio release will be the one that either elevates them to super-stardom or condemns them to relative obscurity. Still, it is most comforting to ultimately realize that beyond the riotous heart of this misshapen EP is the unmistakable soul of a band getting ready to make a serious attempt for the summit - and to get it wholly right this time.

Sputnik - and the rest of the world - should watch this space.

Author's Note: This review can also be found on my personal blog (at the address http://snuffleupagush.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/who-are-who-are-who-are-you/).



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2010



7178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I tried to be brief and as concise as possible in this one (think this is my shortest review yet) - as such the style of writing is very much experimental and "stripped" (or so it feels to me).

Would appreciate lots of constructive criticism - I'm trying as hard as humanly possible to vary my style of writing, and would really like to improve.

Let yourself loose upon me Sputnik, lol.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2010



7178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No takers? =)

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2010



15893 Comments


solid review from start to finish, irving. you are really coming into your own as a reviewer.

only thing i don't like is mentioning sputnik in reviews...it might just be a preference, but i like my reviews to feel applicable to anyone reading. i know you go on to say "and the rest of the world" which is good, but i feel like it could have gone without the sputnik shout out completely. the instances you did it were brief anyway, so whatever.

btw didn't know you had a personal blog, is it new?

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2010



15893 Comments


lol you posted right as i was writing my comment, irving

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2010



7178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

LOL, Sowing!!! I think you can tell I'm rather excited to see you (or anyone for that matter) here on this page - I was starting to get a tad disillusioned haha.

Thanks for the compliments and the criticism - much appreciated. I'll look over the Sputnik thing again and rethink using it actually...you bring up a very valid point, hmm. Also, Sowing, might I ask you if the sentence syntax is awkward?

I've always had problems with being "direct", I guess. It probably comes from how I learned to use the language, and more often than not I find myself garbling too many adjectives/adverbs into a single line. Can you read the review ok though?

I've actually linked to my personal blog for each of my reviews (didn't want the mods to think I was plagiarizing lol). As for the blog itself, I've had it for quite a while now =) Three years, I think?

STOP SHOUTING!
October 23rd 2010



631 Comments


the writing seems fine to me. perhaps you could interpret the music more, where are they taking you, rather than just describe it.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2010



7178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@ Stopshouting: Thanks man. I have actually never done that before (thinking about where the band takes me), as I've primarily been a descriptive kind of reviewer. That is a very helpful indeed - thanks a lot! =)

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2010



7178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Will dance for (more) constructive criticism?

Gyromania
October 23rd 2010



15508 Comments


Really awesome review man, it was a very good read from start to finish. Pos'd.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2010



7178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

*dances for Gyro*

Yay! Thanks! =)

Also, if it isn't too much trouble, how do you think this compares to say, my review for Pink Floyd's Is There Anybody Out There? Or even Michael Franti? Is it "easier" to read?

Thanks man!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2010



7178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Last (semi-desperate) plug for constructive criticism before the review goes off the front page!!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2010



7178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for the second pos - whoever you are! (LOL)



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