Review Summary: The audio equivalent of creeper-weed.
Let me clarify what I mean up above. For those who've never experienced "creeper weed", it's weed that doesn't seem too great at first, and suddenly from out of nowhere, it hits you that it's great. You're just rocked. Now, on to the album.
One day while looking for new music on eMusic because I had some credits to burn up, I came across this album. There wasn't a whole lot I could find about them online, other than their Myspace page. From what I gathered, the band hailed from Boise, Idaho. There were two members--Brian Mayer and Kate Seward--who shared vocal duties. So I gave it a listen. I liked it well enough and decided to take a chance. I played the album straight through and enjoyed it, but aside from the one album highlight nothing really grabbed me. Yet something made me play it again right when it ended. By the end of the second listen, I was rocked. I listened to it three more times in a row afterward.
For an album with such low production values, there are quite a few ideas packed into these 13 songs. Each of those listens the first night I purchased the album, and many subsequent listens afterward, I found something new to love about each of the songs. Album opener "Hearts a Radio" starts off deceiving, with a lo-fi bedroom kind of folk sound that's so popular these days. Mayer--who does vocal duties alone on this one--isn't the best vocalist by a long-shot, yet he has something pleasant and warm about his voice. It all sounds like something you've heard before. Then the chorus hits. It sounds like something right out of the 90's indie rock scene. While naming two things that have been done before, it's the combination/juxtaposition of these two distinct sounds that make the album stand out.
The quasi-duet "Start of My Slip" finally allows Seward to show off her vocals, and she has a similar quality to Mayer--not amazing, but soothing in its own way. Track three, the title track and standout, is when things change pace. A chugging guitar line kicks in about 15 seconds in, Mayer singing right in time with it, and doesn't let up the entire six minutes, until the song closes with the sing/shouted, rousing "Carry On, Carry On, Carry On, You Say"
And the interesting ideas and deviations continue from there on. "Teleportation" sounds like something via a less playful version of The Rentals. "Watery Eyes pt. 2" is an electronic interlude. "Remember February" has a rhythm straight out of the 50's. Album closer "Watery Eyes pt. 1" features some of the most interesting instrumentation on an album full of unique arrangements. It leaves lots of hope for the future of this band, and where they might go after this. I see this band "breaking" at some point.
So if you dig indie-rock, and want to check out somebody you can claim to have listened to before they got big (by indie rock standards) give this album a listen. Give it a few listens. It will grab you, trust me. You will be rocked. It just needs some time to creep.