Brad: United We Stand

I approached this album very apprehensively, what with the big let down that repeated listens to Best Friends? got me. And when I was greeted with an annoying, taunting “na na na na” on the opener “Miles Of Rope” I really put  up my guard.  However, this ended up being a really nice recovery for the band.  We’re not back to Welcome To Discovery Park or Interiors territory yet, but it’s right up there with Shame.  This album’s high points (probably “The Only Way,” which barely misses full heart status due to a chintzy beginning, “A Reason To Be In My Skin,” and “Through The Day”) aren’t as high as those of their debut, but it’s a more solid, even disc.  A mix of slow tempi and hard, swaggering rock, I end up feeling about this the way I do about a lot of the more recent albums by guitarist Stone Gossard’s other band, Pearl Jam: very satisfied if not shouting-from-the-rooftops inspired.

Rating:
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– “Miles Of Rope,” “Bound In Time,” “A Reason To Be In My Skin,” “Diamond Blues,” “The Only Way,” “Last Bastion,” “Make The Pain Go Away,” “Needle And Thread,” “Tea Bag,” “Through The Day”
Song notes: Below the fold

  1. Miles Of Rope – A bit annoying at the start, and the worst part is that, with its immediate accessibility brought down by the poor choice of a taunting melody, it picks at the scars left by Best Friends?.
  2. Bound In Time – An anti-war song.  Kind of condescending to say that the boys don’t understand what it means to kill a man.
  3. A Reason To Be In My Skin – “Your mind is sharp/Your face is art”
  4. Diamond Blues – Probs open.  Had as at least open, but there are def parts that are ticking me off now.
  5. The Only Way – Almost gets a full heart, but the beginning is too chintzy.
  6. Last Bastion – So sexy, so good.
  7. Make The Pain Go Away – good.  pretty simple and stripped down.
  8. Needle And Thread – Slowish.
  9. Tea Bag – Rocker.
  10. Through The Day – Bring it down slow, boys.
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