A horrible hack

the Minor Leagues

This Story Is Old, I Know, But It Goes On

Year Released: 2009
Format: CD
Label: Data Was Lost
 
Reviewed by Joe Callaghan on Feb 4, 2010
An interesting package is always a joy to review for some reason. Perhaps I consider my CD collection to be purely cosmetic and I just want an accumulation of dapper records? Who knows. Itís a very quaint, intricate illustration however, that looks like a Drawn and Quarterly comic book, printed on a slim folded card pocket. Pleasing on the eye, and puts me in good spirit to actually listen to whatís actually on the CD. Much more engaging than a Promo CDR.

So, this is indie rock, of a very ambitious likeness. The familiar foundations are there, and the glimpses of Built to Spill and Eels rear their head now and again, deep within their sound, but thereís a lot more to it than moody guitars and tumbling rhythms. Each track is filled severely by the addition of almost orchestral layers. Thereís plenty of keys, brass, thumping percussion and the subtle twinkles and jangling of glockenspiel (or an instrument from that family of racket-makers anyway). Itís a little heretical, but beneath the busy stratums, there are plenty of toe-tapping pop-sensibilities to keep you engaged, if fuzzy, jerky pop music is the kind of thing that would usually engage you.

Itís difficult to not wonder what this record would sound like if they just kept everything at the bare minimum. The instrumentation is remarkable, and I do appreciate a solid composition of many instruments, but thereís enough pop hooks and vigour for this to function on its own merit and momentum. Fortunately, the instrumentation works, so itís not a decisive factor. Just a niggling conjecture.

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