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Tag: Cover Your Tracks

Cover Your Tracks

Band: V/a

Album: Cover Your Tracks compilation

Best Element: A great introduction to Deep Elm’s roster.

Genre: Punk/Emo/Post-hardcore/Indie-rock

Website: Deep Elm Records

Deep Elm Records’ Cover Your Tracks is a very unique comp. The premise is this: new-school Deep Elm bands cover a song by an old-school Deep Elm band in their own style. There’s two ways to look at it: you can see it as intended (a clever reward to long-time Deep Elm fans) or as its de facto result (a introduction to Deep Elm’s current roster).

Admittedly, I am not a hardcore Deep Elm fan – many of the bands covered here weren’t even on Deep Elm by the time I heard of the label. The few songs I do know go par for the course – I liked Burns Out Bright’s cover of Pop Unknown’s “This Guy’s Ready for Bed,” while I hated Slowride’s life-draining cover of The Appleseed Cast’s “Fishing the Sky.” I can’t say much else about that end of the comp.

If you take the CD purely as a Deep Elm comp, it’s really good. There’s a lot of variation of genre and style on this comp, but one thing remains clear: Deep Elm knows passionate music. Whether it’s the lush and dewy-eyed sounds of Surrounded, the Long Island pummeling that is Small Arms Dealer, the frenetic dance-rock of Free Diamonds or the post-hardcore of Fightstar, there’s quality in all of these bands. That’s incredible.

Cover Your Tracks is essentially a hipster in-joke that’s funny even if you don’t get the punch line. I would recommend this comp to anyone interested in underground rock right now. Props to Deep Elm, once again.

Stephen Carradini

Stephen@independentclauses.com

Writer-Cover Your Tracks

writerWriterCover Your Tracks
Self-released

Writer has a lot invested in Cover Your Tracks.Even though this is a self-released disc, the artwork is more eyecatching, snazzy and professional than most small indie labels can afford to create. It actually calls to mind the bizarre yet cool artwork from Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head, although Writer exercises more restraint than Coldplay did on its singles and live album with similar art themes.
That’s where the similarities to Coldplay stop, though. Writer is a sleepy-eyed indie-pop band in the vein of Grandaddy (more well known) and Meryll (more accurate). It falls squarely into a genre that I coined last month: Rainy Day Makeout Music. It’s got all the characteristics: shuffling, slow-moving, lush, full, and beautiful. But where many RDMM bands fall into the homogeneity-inspiring trap of “mood is all,” Writer deftly sidesteps the pit and makes a clean getaway.
Instead of each song sounding like the last, the members of writer made a great effort to distinguish between songs. Whether it be the captivating near-silent break of “Write One Down,” the excellent acoustic guitar ditty that permeates “Friend,” the “sun breaking through the clouds” guitar melody of “Four Letters,” or the extremely Meryll-esque sliding guitar lines of “Make Us Proud,” the members of Writer have immaculately crafted each of these tunes to stand on their own but still flow perfectly in the context of an astonishingly well-paced album.
Those four songs I name-checked? They’re the first four real songs on the album (after the intro). The rest of the album unfolds in similarly exciting fashion, unveiling song after memorable song of guitar-based indie-pop with wonderfully fitting vocals and enough pop hooks to make a fish squirm. This album does not cease to amaze, whether it’s in the buzzing synths and surrounding background vocals of “The Pollution,” the change-in-mood moroseness of “My Thoughts on the Subject,” the stripped-down acoustic winner “Lesson Number Four” (a highlight on the album), the poignant and moving “Title track part two” (another highlight), or in spare, downtempo closer “I Think She Died.”
Yes, this album succeeds on all levels. In fact, everything this album attempts to accomplish, it succeeds at. This is indie-pop of the highest order – completely refreshing, exhilarating and comforting. I would love to see the three men of Writer play a show – it sounds like it would be a cathartic, revelatory experience. And really, that’s why Writer put so much effort into making their website better than most signed bands’ – they’re good enough to deserve such treatment.
I hope that those mourning the loss of Grandaddy will look in Writer’s direction and exalt them as the next great band to follow. I know I’m already on board.

Stephen Carradini
independentclauses@hotmail.com