Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Urban Legends-Of Old Lost Days

March 1, 2007

urbanlegendsUrban LegendsOf Old Lost Days

Toe-tapping rhythms propel this pop/acoustic/indie mix.

Label Name: No Karma Music Group

As both an artist and songwriter, Hutch Harris has striven to fulfill a goal all of his fellow musicians share: to craft the perfect song. Each artist is different, of course, but for Hutch Harris pop was the way to go. For nearly a decade now he has been fighting the good fight to create the ultimate pop song. His latest effort Of Old Lost Days covers his trials and tribulations in working towards this goal from 1997-2002. And while Harris, under the pseudonym Urban Legends, doesn’t quite perfect the art of pop, he does manage to sculpt several worthy tunes along the way.

The album kicks off with “Soak and Drown,” a tune whose immediately catchy beat sets the listener up for what to expect the rest of the album. With a solid bass line, hooking guitar and toe-tapping rhythm, this tune comes off as one of the album’s better tracks.

Swaying into the appropriately named title track, the album’s mood seeps of vibes from not only the 60s/70s, but 90s alternative as well. Though the music is catchy, the vocals sound on the adolescent side and take away from the song. “My Only Defense Left” is simple but also catchy. Harris’ formerly childlike nasal tones spin over the music this time in a poppy tune that echoes of what teen Weezer must have sounded like.

The record skips along to the “The World is Strange,” arguably the best track on the disc. Right from the get-go Harris has your toes tapping, your fingers snapping and your hands just begging to clap. A melodic keyboard lead pulls in the listener while a clean guitar and bass fill up the rest of the space. Though there is nothing incredible about the lyrics of this tune, the atmosphere it generates earns kudos from me.

A smooth but lyrically corny “Electric Heat” leads the album into a filler section. Though some of the tracks in the middle of the CD appear interesting, the lo-fi and/or live circumstances of their recording ruin their message.

“Party for as Long as You Can” takes the listener to a happy place and immediately puts a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart. Harmony, a good vibe and catchy lyrics that bring to mind the drifting attitude of the 50s/60s generation make this song another stepping stone in Harris’ quest for pop perfection.

The album carries on over several decent tracks, including “The West Coast” and “We Partied Here Enough” before finishing with the short-lived “The Future, The Sea.”

Needless to say, Harris’ goal falls short. Though Of Old Lost Days holds in it several catchy tunes, much of the feeling is lost in bad recordings and poor arrangements. However, trying to craft the ultimate pop song after the insanity that was the 1980s and 1990s alternative scene is a massive undertaking, so Harris can’t really be held accountable for failing.

If you’re looking for a few tunes to tap your toes to, get lost in and don’t mind an old school recording here or there, Urban Legends’ Of Old Lost Days is the way to go.

-Erik Williams

Endlesscreed@charter.net

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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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