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Asaurus Records
EP Club #3 (CD)

... and the Asaurus machine rolls onward! This is #3 in their EP Club series which I should mention again is a pretty good deal if you want to find out about newish indie bands. Always works of art, this particular package was nicely wrapped in beautifully printed transparent tracing paper and red construction paper. I still maintain that we as Peoples (or shmats, if that's the case with you) are still a very visually oriented species, and that music can't exist in a vacuum wholly on its own. It needs prodding and presentation to get into the limelight. You can say all you want about the "music" being the only thing that matters but it doesn't hurt to put yourself ahead of the game by making it look interesting.

Anyhow, the 4 bands this month are: Sinkcharmer, Solvents, Patterns In Paris, and Thee Moths. I've heard of Thee Moths on Indiepages, so I was curious about them from the get-go. The style ranges from nice, interesting pop to downright bizarre. "As Fletcher Makes Straight His Arrow" starts off like a straightforward song but ends with a really nice chorus of gentle wispy humming. "Seahound" kinda reminded me of Neutral Milk Hotel, while "The Singing from Operation London" consists wholly of weird moth, er.. mouth noises ala Bobby Mcferrin.

The other band on the CD that I'd heard of before are Solvents. "Psychic Birds Don't Crash" is a nicely strummed acoustic number as are most of the songs, although this one reminded me ever so slightly of that Kansas song "Dust in the Wind". "Convince Me" and "Just Like Living Alone" are also acoustic but substitute hand claps (his hands must have sure gotten sore) for drums to keep the rhythm through the entire songs. Singer Jarrod reminds me of James Mercer of The Shins crossed with Mark Kozelek. I like the melodies on these songs a lot.

Massachusetts based Sinkcharmer create wiggly little tunes, sometimes driven by banjo and other times by twitchy keyboards and drum machine beats. One thing I like is that switching of lead vocal between male and female voices like on the song "1904". That really works, in the way that Elk City can pull it off really well. Jen Godfrey has a great voice, a bit like Mia Doi Todd. Compositionally, they remind me slightly of a band I've been into lately, Slomo Rabbit Kick, though they aren't as goofy. Or maybe they are, as evidenced by the skronks, beeps and firecracker drums of "She Was the President" which is about a van that died??? Fun stuff.

Patterns in Paris are one part Mates of State, one part Pixies and five parts very interesting emotive power pop. Man these indiekids are pretty young.. their ages range from 18-20? Sorry, I forget I'm an old, old rabbit, like twice the age of everyone here. Anyhow, I liked the electroparanoia of "Lights Off" and the frequent mood and dynamic changeups in "Ten Minutes More" was great. The snappy discoish beat of "The World Is Smaller Than You Think" makes a great contrast to the more subtle guitar and keys, and ends up being almost anthemic near the end. This band is really good, they end up sounding emotional without being too self-absorbed. Well, as usual so much good music, so little time. It's back to the burrow for me.

- review by RABBIT (3.12.04)        

Asaurus Records
PO Box 0664
Allen Park, MI 48101-0664

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