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Liner Notes: CD Reviews

 published on Thursday, April 27, 2006


Built to Spill
You In Reverse
(Warner Brothers)
Four out of Five Stars

When a band like Built to Spill, which has been a major presence in the indie scene forever, releases a new album, comparisons to older recordings are inevitable. The best way to place this album is to say that where their last album, Ancient Melodies of the Distant Future, was a pop gem, this album is a rock and roll adventure. While not every track is as driving as the urgent opener ("Goin' Against Your Mind"), for the most part, songs consist of up-tempo numbers with occasional huge jamming breaks. The drum beats and bass lines are simple but forceful, while the twin guitars switch from complementing one another to dueling to infinity. If you've managed to avoid Built to Spill's music in the past, or have been turned off by the slower nature of Ancient Melodies, this is probably a good place to find a wonderful new sound. --

(3e/Red Ink/Columbia Records)
Three out of Five Stars

Although Mellowdrone categorizes itself as psychedelic rock, the debut album, Box, bears no semblance to a tie-dyed acid trip. Instead, Mellowdrone employs a variety of mixers and drum machines to create a subdued, while still appealing, background for Jonathan Bates' seductive vocals. There are glimmers of influence from Nine Inch Nails on the track "Oh My," however, the overall feel is closer to Elefant, or Ours (a band few will remember). "Beautiful Day" is a favorite track for its oozing sex appeal, but most of the album could serve as decent make-out music. Although Box is not an amazing debut, its varied musical inspirations and clever compositions topped with irresistible crooning make for a pleasant listening experience. --

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