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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).

Pants Yell!
83 in 05 (7" Record)

I tell you what. If I was the Queen of England, my first order of business would be to godamn KNIGHT the band Pants Yell! and then offer them a royal musical residence there. On their earlier full length "Songs For Sibilings" the band played semi-folky indie pop that was so delicious as to make your toes curl with delight. Their newer 7" record '83 in '05 out on Paper Cities is no exception.

I think the song '83 in '05 is actually a reworking of a track off the cassette only release "Our Horse Calls" called '83 in '03, but I've got to look in my tape collection to see what the differences are. In any case, the intervening 2 years hasn't seen them lose any of their charm or talent as Andrew sing-reads through deceptively offhand lyrics while Carly and Sterling motor along on drums and bass. Their is a strange creamy texture to their affable lo-fi music - makes me think a bit of an American Belle and Sebastian or a mopey Masters of the Hemisphere or a more folky Galaxie 500. I don't know... it's a bit difficult to describe.

The lyrics seem simple and stream of consciousness at times, almost Dean Wareham-ish in the way they're stated. But they can be seriously funny and true... highlights include the lines "MBV, MBV, MBV, they made a mockery of me" and "Sometimes when I'm walking down the street I get recognized by guys who spend too much time in their room listening to records." Dang, I think I'm guilty of recognizing unknown bands in that way sometimes...

The B-side starts off with the short, laid-back "Stop Making Music". The song features sweet boy-girl harmonies that are complented by tiny glockenspiel hits in the background. "The No-So City Life", with it's charming little handclaps set to a bouncy backbeat, reminded me of Pants Yell! labelmates on Asaurus, The Diskettes. Kinda funny but Andrew's singing also reminds me of Morrissey on this one, hehe. This is one excellent record, but way too short. Looking forward to further increasing my Pants Yell! pop addictions in 2006...

- review by RABBIT (1.10.06)        

Paper Cities

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