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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Wavering Saints
Strike Date (12" EP)

Shmatness! Here is a real record (yes, an actual circular piece of 12" vinyl) by a band called "Wavering Saints"... the Shmat thought at first this was Pale Saints, but he needs to learn to pay attention more carefully! One of the first things that the Shmat did notice is that it's released by a label from Stockton. And Shmat being the sometimes salivating Pavement fan that he is, wondered if perhaps this album might sound a bit like the asphalty ones. And though it doesn't have the sloppiness or Malkmus's vocal hiccups, the Shmat could see a few similarities. The overall approach is somewhat noisy experimental guitar backed by repetitive drumming and melodies. However, "Listen to this" is a great rock song that sounds like early Guided By Voices fronted by Mac from Superchunk or Mike Kinsella from Joan of Arc. "Eyescrape" loads up on grungy chords with a occasional shout of "come on!" that makes it sound a bit like the Velvet Underground, though the end of the song where the guitar takes off DOES sound like something off of Westing by Musket and Sextant.

On the reverse side of the disc, "Evening Light" starts off a bit quieter in approach though that fiery distortion from the guitar is still there, especially near the end. The choice of drums/drum machine throughout these songs is a bit interesting because they almost sound like hip hop beats at times, which contrasts greatly with the rest of the music. Not necessarily in a good way, but definitely interesting. "Radio Wonder" is a tender ballad driven along by a bass drum and reverse guitar sounds. Not too bad overall, but the Shmat wouldn't throw away his Slanted and Enchanted boxset just yet...

- review by SHMAT (1.29.05)        

Central District Records
PO Box 776
Stockton, CA 95201

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