Thursday, January 22, 2004

Album: Small Victories EP Artist: The Gone Aways
label: self-released Rating: 4.75 *s out of 5

Fun Story: In 1997, a friend of mine waved a crudely-pressed, small batch record under my nose, saying "You must hear this!" I listened to one track -- "Electronic Renaissance" -- and decided it was poorly made techno-crap. I forgot about that band.
That band just released their fourth full length album, "Dear Catastrophe Waitress".
Another friend of mine from Glasgow just sent me this EP from the Gone Aways. It's home-made and a little rough, too, but it's just as much a little gem. Patrick and Lucy trade off singing, and there's some guitar and drums and a little keyboard, too. It's infused with the melancholy, dreamy pop sensibility common in Scotchland. Think of it as Langley Schools Music Project meets the Pastels/Salako/Belle and Sebastian et al...
This EP was produced by Gavin Dunbar of the band Camera Obscura -- also currently on playlist.

Favorite tracks: All
All tracks clean
Site: Here

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

By the way folks, in case you didn't know, December and early January are bad months for idependent music folks. CMJ doesn't report, and accordingly most label but out nothing or next to it. WXDU's music staff has gone through more old crap recently that you can easily imagine. The first of the new batch was the Gone Aways (to be posted later) and The Limits.


Album: .... Songs about Girls Artist: The Limits
Label: Luxury Records Rating: 3.75 *s out of 5

My first impression of this album was "Wow! I've discovered the band that did the title credits for Saturday Morning cartoons from when I was little!"
I still feel this is a fairly accurate portrayal. The Limits adopt a retro feel... which ultimately meets with mixed success. They take only the happy go lucky feel with their poppy msuic with strong elements of 80s pop and a dash of 70s rock, but they ignore any dark or mellow elements. The result is sort of a contrived joy that may or may not be ironic -- hence the cartoonyness.
Think of it another way: they're the Magnetic Fields from some weird parallel dimension where Stephin Merrit kept his fascination with pop but was just one cheery-ass mofo.
Final word: fun, but a little saccarhine.

All tracks clean.
Preferred number: 1 and 9 (which is a take on the Beatles)
Play ifn you like: early Beatles, Lucksmiths, the Archies

A very odd and apparently uniformative web site is here.