Sunday, May 28th, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 35
|Maritime / We, The Vehicles (Flameshovel)
Maritime carry a lot of baggage what with being formed from the remains of two well-loved indie stalwarts, abdicated emo kings The Promise Ring and DC prog-punkers Dismemberment Plan. But I’ve not really heard the former and don’t really think the bassist of the latter carries all that much of the old outfit’s legacy, so their new band actually gets a pretty clean slate from me (note – bassist Eric Axelson has now left the band). We, The Vehicles is unashamedly pop record but what makes it interesting is that none of those involved really sound like they’re all that used to the style. Davey von Bohlen’s rasp (which reminds a little too much of the little guy from Stereophonics) sometimes sounds like it’s having some trouble with the complex melodies demanded of it but that extra bit of tension is oddly engaging. But every once in a while what I suspect are traces of their old outfits still peek through, be it through a guitar line or a particular lyric that sounds a little out of place in the current outfit but that the players are still obviously comfortable with. Maritime may have a shiny pop coating but it’s still got chewy emo centre.
|Whysall Lane / Whysall Lane (Blackball Records)
One of many offshoots from 90s indie rock legend Versus, Whysall Lane is the new project from Versus leader Richard Baulyut and while his former compatriots have struck out (relatively) new or different sonic ground in The Fontaine Toups and +/-, Baluyut sticks to the tried and true in his new band. Bassist Mikel Delgado’s backing vocals even sound uncannily like Fontaine Toups’. Though Whysall Lane was formed almost immediately after Versus went on hiatus, it’s taken five years to release their first album but Baluyut hasn’t lost his songwriting style or chops in the interim. Taut and melodic, it’s an familiar sound with a new name but welcome all the same.
|You Won’t Die, It’s Only A Diet
You Won’t Die (It’s Only A Diet) is the musical pseudonym of Chicago drummer/songwriter/schoolteacher Todd Finkel. Usually home demos from someone who’s a drummer first are cause for a little alarm, but these are more than a pleasant surprise. Finkel has crafted some ornate, sophisticated little gems that marry modern DIY indie aesthetic with the spirit of 70s AM pop. If only everything that showed up in my inbox unannounced was such a treat. Todd’s having some web issues at the moment so I’ll host a couple files for him in the interim. Someone give this guy a proper MySpace page, please? Update: Todd has sent me a couple more MP3s. Enjoy.
np – DeVotchKa / Curse Your Little Heart