Wow, I just noticed how much more awesome that album cover looks at 500 x 500 pixels instead of whatever little thumbnail shows on my phone when I play it. Yeah, we’ve lost something in the move to streaming-only. But seriously, bands shouldn’t make album covers that look like that anymore. They figured it out moving from vinyl to CD, but can’t seem to make the jump further.
I downloaded this album accidentally. There was all this hype on Sub Pop’s Twitter feed and then I think I mixed them up with somebody else that I thought I liked on Sub Pop. Then when I listened to it and hated it I tried to figure out where I’d heard of them before, and it was from that Sub Pop Soundcloud playlist and man was I harsh on that song.
But because I hate myself, I trudged through, needing to finish what I started. And I’m kinda glad I did because it really ended up growing on me to the point of liking it. You kinda get everything they say on the album in the first four songs. After that there are five tracks that range from pretty good to meh, but don’t break any new ground (except the cricket/cicada sounds used in “Aurora Avenue” are pretty awesome). The worst is how they end with two tracks that are both legitimately fine sleepy-eyed album closers, spesh “Hirami,” but to have two of them there is awful.
The band’s unique sound comes from having a flautist and a keyboardist (along with what you’d expect), but that just ends up feeling like bullshit Millenial communism. The best aspects of the band come between the interaction between lead guitarist Chris Cheveyo and vocalist Rabia Shaheen Qazi, particularly on “Blind.”
But communism never works, and the band broke up almost immediately after this album came out, and they canceled their tour with hardly any explanation. Fine, hippies, fine.
- Bodhi Song – their Zen thing. “I’ve known since the beat I’m not a measure in this song, just the rests”
- Glory, Glory – the album’s best
- Blind – “Here comes the man/He’s gonna make you cry/He’s gonna make you sorry that you ever tried to love at all/To live an honest life”
- Strip Mall Babylon – Might have been RL if not for that faux-Asian thing at the start
- Come Get Us Again – very slow and almost monotone but I do like it.
- The Old Crow – another weak start
- Aurora Avenue – seems like it might be about prostitution, probably named after the street in Seattle
- A Pleasure To Burn – has no business being six minutes long