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Neat Stripes
The End Of That (CD)


I must confess that I didn't initially find too many things neat about the Neat Stripes album The End Of That, although it certainly wasn't appalling music. There's a lot of different types of songs running amok here, some of it quite interesting and eclectic, but the direction of the music that tended to turn me off was the insistence on psuedo blues rock. This reminded me of the bad music that gets played by live bands at drunken fraternity parties... well maybe that's a little harsh. Sure, the opening track "One Long Toe" has that fun swingy lounge feel like Folk Implosion's "Barricade". And the country feel of "The Beginning Of That" is sincere enough in that Wilco-ish way. But I had a hard time getting my head around the sound that my ears have gotten accustomed to blocking out. Also, the death of superfluous guitar solos just cannot happen soon enough for me.

Things start to get interesting with the fourth track, "Molly". Sort of a cross between "Brown-Eyed Girl" era Van Morrison and Paul Simon's calypso phase, this track at least got my attention. But the lounge piano, guitar solos (did I mention the thing I have about guitar solos like this!) and drunken voice in "Caroline" didn't do it at all for me. And with the exception of the toilet-flushing and on the last track, I didn't find much else to like on the rest of the album. Sorry guys. I wonder if country and blues Peoples look at indie shoegaze music in a similar manner... it's not that the music is bad but it just doesn't seem to bark correctly up my own tree. For me the brightest spots on the album were the country tunes like "Masterplan" and "The Beginning Of That". I just couldn't get into bluesy feel of the rest of the album. Also, side note: a bit of an unfortunate (though of course completely unintended as stated in their press sheet) choice of band name. Especially since I'm a bit leery of that other "Stripes" band.


- review by BY (9.26.03)        

Tell Me Later Records
P.O. Box 574
Athens, GA 30603
question@neatstripes.com
www.neatstripes.com



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