Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

What Have I Discovered Recently?

May 1, 2007

What Have I Discovered Recently?

I’ve been in a bit of music rut. Recently, my iPod shows the same 10 bands getting played over and over again recently. Now that’s not to say I haven’t been listening to good music. Among those bands are Thursday, SleepBellumSonno, The Felix Culpa, Brand New, The Blood Brothers but there hasn’t been anything new for a while. Part of that was I’m a poor student; the other problem was I couldn’t find anything impressive to buy. (Yes, I still buy all my music…next month’s column?) But in the past seven days I’ve found two amazing albums; one from a band I know and love and another from a band that I had never heard of. The first was Poison the Well’s Ferret Records debut, Versions; the second, Damiera’s M(US)IC.

Poison the Well is one of my favorite bands and after waiting four years for a new album Versions not only did not disappoint but blew away everything PTW has done before. The album, which contains a number of political undertones, is the work a slimmed down, three-person version of PTW. Since the 2003 release of You Come Before You, PTW (or PT-dub, as the internet just told me they are sometimes called) spilt from Atlantic Records, dropped two members and revised their sound. The resulting album is a blend of PTW’s intense introspective lyrics, hardcore vocals and music that are well known from their previous albums, plus a new electronic sound that enhances the mellow side of PTW. Honestly, this is the first album this year that has made me sit back and concentrate completely on the music.

The amazing thing is that less than a week later I found a second album that made me once again sit back and ignore everything but the music (the problem was my girlfriend was with me). Damiera’s M(US)IC put out a sound that can not be described in simple words. They also put out the most technical album released by a rock band since SleepBellumSonno’s Ascertain. I actually found this album while I was wondering around my local Borders. *Shocked Face*

“You buy your music at Borders?”

Yes, simply because Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has exactly one independent music store and it is open about 5 hours a week. As I was browsing Borders, I came across M(US)IC on a listening station and was simply blown away by the first song when the tempo switched from 7/8 to 4/4 to 5/8.

Away from the technical musicianship, the music is catchy but not annoying. It really reminds me of Northstar’s Is This Thing Loaded? Between the catchy nature of the first two songs and the technical aspects, I took a chance and bought the album…exactly three days after the band announced their permanent break up. So my timing isn’t great but the album is still worth ten bucks.

While the two albums I bought were vastly different in genre and style, both albums manage to make you forget everything around you and focus solely on the music. But warning, both albums also have songs that will never get out of your head.

-Scott Landis

redbassist66@comcast.net

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

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