Something For Kate: Elsewhere For 8 Minutes

51A0ZQS90XLThis is a grower, but its genetics will only let it grow on you so much. It’s got short parents.

Something For Kate is an Australia three-piece that I would have thought was a D.C.-area four-piece. They’re a bit of a post-punk/grunge combo. The post-punk comes from the guitarist, who’s got a strident, alarm-like quality but also a real gift for combining chunky riffs with nice melodies in the same song. The grunge quality comes from the flat yarling of the vocalist, who is kind of a cross between Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Sunny Day Real Estate’s Jeremy Enigk, and is also the same person as the guitarist.

There are some really good songs on here, but very few good tracks as the good songs almost invariably have crappy parts added to them in what can only be described as vicious self-sabotage. Somebody needs to tell Paul Dempsey that, hey, you’re awesome on guitar, but you really need to let somebody else get out in front and do the singing. Also you need to stop with so much meandering. You can completely get rid of a few songs here. Half of the remainder need to have their most boring 20% cut, and from the other songs you can probably cull the bad parts out and have enough left over for one or two good songs.

At their best I get Burning Airlines. At their worst I get Counting Crows, and the bad Counting Crows at that. Still, I find more to like it with just about every listen, so it may be a matter of it just being one that takes longer to get into. I think it’s height-inhibited, though.

Rating:
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– “Pinstripe,” “Captain (Million Miles An Hour),” “Prick,” “Glass Timing,” “Working Against Me”
– “Anarchitect,” “Roll Credit,” “Like Bankrobbers,” “The Last Minute”
– “Paintbrushes,” “Soundczech,” “Strategy”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Anarchitect – Oh god the first few seconds sound like exactly what you think they’re going to sound like, some wistful fey-voiced alternacrap, based on the name of the band and the cover art. Amazingly, though, goes into male singer and maybe I don’t even hate it. It’s much heavier than I’d think. With the “shadow man” line (or whatever), it’s a very Pearl Jam vibe, like “Nothingman” or “Better Man” or something. Would probably be full if not for that part.
  2. Pinstripe – ending makes it full, but barely.
  3. Captain (Million Miles An Hour) – one of the more complete better songs.
  4. Paintbrushes – Very Eddie Vedder mumble yarble on the “waterfall” lyric. Tori Amos style piano at the end.
  5. Prick – nice start.
  6. Glass Timing – palm muting.
  7. Soundczech – something is worse than sleeping in a roomful of boxes. “waiting is the worst. moving is better.” is this about a traffic jam?
  8. Working Against Me – “I’ve drawn some lines in the sand.” Great guitar lines. Kind of a weak full, but the end is awesome, the guitars are great, and it stands out as one of the better songs on the album.
  9. Strategy – Counting Crows. Oh god, that’s the band this is really reminding me of.
  10. Roll Credit –
  11. Like Bankrobbers – terrible start…surprised I have it as “open or full.” I think it’s because they get the strings going cool near the end. But there’s no way it’s full.
  12. The Last Minute – cool, swelling strings
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