Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick hits: Banquets — Top Button, Bottom Shelf

September 22, 2011

I like to write long reviews, ’cause I like reading long reviews. I want to contribute to the “long reviews” file of the world. However, BanquetsTop Button, Bottom Shelf resists that approach, and not just because this punk album consists of ten songs in an airtight 25 minutes.

Nope, the reason this review is short because there are a small number of elements in Banquets’ sound that set it apart immediately from other pop-punk.

1. There are few obvious verse/chorus/verse structures, meaning that this whole thing feels like one hooky stream of consciousness.

2. The vocalist is stellar, bringing the perfect mix of vocal acrobatics, muscle and melody to the music.

3. The guitarists turned down the treble knobs on their amps, creating a bass-heavy, immediately accessible sound. Similarly, the treble on the cymbals is (thankfully, thankfully, thankfully) cranked down.

4. The band hits it and quits it, never dragging out anything that could be made into too much of a good thing. Always leave ’em wanting more.

The best place to start is “Unforgiven V,” which is unsurprisingly the shortest song here except for the intro tune. A dual vocal approach and a sense of high drama that isn’t pushed into melodrama create the song of a summer I want to have. Mega.

So yes. Get yourself some Top Button, Bottom Shelf if you like pop-punk at all. It’s not your average “super-loud-pop-songs-yaallllllll” — it’s so, so much better.

Goodbye, summer

August 19, 2011

School started recently for some folk. Other students are wringing the best out of their last days of freedom. I’m in the former category, as I’m enrolled in grad school after a jaunt in the “real world.” (It’s all pretty real to me.)

Here’s a tune courtesy of The Hue that fits the mood of those last fleeting days: upbeat, but tempered from the gung-ho enthusiasm of June. “The Bump,” indeed.

Also, if you remember how awesome Live was in the ’90s, you’re going to be all about Red Wanting Blue. RWB has a bit more of an organic feel (Gin Blossoms!), but you’ll love it.

Prep prep prep

May 19, 2009

So, I’m spending the summer working at a Christian summer camp. While this would seem to necessitate a slowdown of Independent Clauses, this is not the case! I’ve been working furiously to get stuff ready for summer, and it seems that we will be moving to four posts a week (as opposed to daily, which is what we were doing early in the semester, and scattershot, which is what we’re doing now). It looks like we’ll be posting Monday-Thursday.

And our twitter will keep twittering away. It’ll be like I’m not even gone!

But that’s where we’ve been for the past couple weeks; furiously preparing for summer. Just thought I’d drop a note and enlighten all of you wonderful people.

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

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