Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Minutes Too Far-Let It Roll EP

August 1, 2007

minutestoofarBand Name: Minutes Too Far

Album Name: Let It RollEP

Best Element: Songwriting Maturity

Genre: Power-pop/pop-punk mix

Website: www.minutestoofar.com

Label Name: Medic Records (www.medicrecords.com)

Band E-mail: loper@minutestoofar.com

Minutes too far’s new EP Let It Roll is the sound of a pop-punk band becoming a power-pop band. This, naturally, is going to devolve into a discussion of pop-punk vs. power-pop, so I’m going to get it out of the way early.

Pop-punk is fast, upbeat, major-keyed, simplistic, 3 to 4 chord songs that revel in romance, teenagerdom, and the fact that it’s cool to play music. Power-pop is fast or slow music that’s distinguished by thoughtful, complex songwriting, more mature song topics, and instrumentation that deviates from the confines of pop-punk drumming, conformist strum patterns, and simple bass lines. It’s the difference between Dookie by Green Day and Welcome Interstate Managers by Fountains of Wayne. Pop-punk is elementary school- power-pop is college. Where Minutes Too Far is right now is High School.

Minutes Too Far used to be a straight pop-punk band, but with the songwriting they employ on Let It Roll, they’ve made it clear that they’re looking past the simplicity of the past and setting their sights on real songwriting. Sure, there’s the occasional punk verse or chorus, but this EP is much more dominated by touches like the dirty guitar solo on “Gimme a Reason”, the sudden mood shift in “Seems Like”, the inclusion of “….probably not”, which is a moody, non-song connecting track between “Gimme a Reason” and “Seems Like”. The undeniable proof of maturity is the mid-tempo, keys-heavy closer “So Far Away”- while not exactly Relient K in scope, it’s a large shift away from straight pop-punk. The vocals throughout go more for resonance and tone than speed and jokey tricks- especially evident on “So Far Away”. If “So Far Away” feels a little bit like a radio ballad, that’s cause it ends up being just that- but it’s a sure sign of improvement.

That’s not to say they don’t bring the rock any more- “Something You Really Oughta Know” is the bridge between punk and pop. You’ll want to dance, but you’ll be caught off guard in sections- wondering “Where did that cool thing come from?” And that’s the way good music should be- pleasing, but not predictable. There’s a lot of good in Minutes Too Far’s future- and if you don’t like this release, I’d challenge you to get their next one. I’ll bet you it’s even more improved.

-Stephen Carradini

Independentclauses@hotmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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