Quick Shot Reviews: Ride Your Bike, Proud Simon, The Morning Stars, Stars Of Track And Field

24-Mar-2007 09:06 pm

Contributed by: pete

If only I had more time to give these CDs a little more attention, they all deserve it - this set of Quick Shot Reviews is just a few of the best submissions I've received in the past few months (which explains why all four reviews are so positive). I've got more in the queue that I hope to get to soon, but hopefully these recommendations will keep you busy for a bit. In this volume:

Ride Your Bike / Bad News From The Bar

Extremely simplistic packaging sets low expectations, but it doesn't matter, this is an excellent piece of alt-indie-rock work by Mike Getches. Containing at least a few very strong songs, there's a hint of Tripping Daisy and Built To Spill hidden beneath these completely lovable compositions. The first track, We All Have Our Shoes, is pretty much the perfect album opener - it clocks in at just under 2 minutes, but contains enough musical content to fill the average 4 minute track. After a couple of passes through the entire CD, my favorite track is This Car Is Hot As Hell, but I suspect that may change after a few more listens. This is great music and I don't expect it to be long before Ride Your Bike gets signed. Until then, you can buy the CD directly from Mike on MySpace.

Connect: MySpace
Proud Simon / Shoestring Universe

Strong indie folk-rock singer/songwriter produces intelligent songs with more than a few hooks and enough changes to keep the whole album interesting. Excellent use of atypical instruments and sounds emphasize some of the somber lyrics. Best track is American Caskets, with its undertow of Americana sound, easy vocals, and lyrics that are obscure enough not to hit you over the head with the subject matter.

Info: Proud Simon | Connect: MySpace
The Morning Stars / You Can't Change The World

This CD starts off with a track heavily inspired by The Who of the 70's but blended with a 60's tambourine and vocals. Influences seem to be wider than for most bands, with songs that take you on a tour through the last four decades, including a strange and slightly out-of-place detour through Stone Roses territory in All Coming Down. For the most part it's easy-to-like happy pop, and I will attept to track down this band to catch a live performance later this year.

Info: The Morning Stars | Connect: MySpace
Stars Of Track And Field / Centuries Before Love And War

I photographed Stars Of Track And Field as part of CMW 2007 on Friday. As mentioned in my live review, they remind me of a bit of a cross between Midlake and Blue October, but not enough to really compare them to either. I completely dig the track Say Hello (the second song in my collection with that title), with it's combination of vocal harmonies, layered guitars, and complexity emphasized by regular musical interludes containing very little but soft vocals. But the best track is Movies Of Antarctica, which is a song that builds to satisfying guitar euphoria.

Info: Stars Of Track And Field | Connect: MySpace

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