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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Getting Into Sinking
Polyvinyl Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Some bands these days nod so much toward the Sixties that their collective necks must need continual massages. Not to say that this practice is a bad thing, because obviously so much of the greatest music ever produced comes from this era. When bands have absolutely no interest in progression, however, this habit becomes tired right quick. Some of these bands (Moods for Moderns, ahem) cop to not even listening to new music, creating a purist illusion that often makes their final output stale and uninteresting.

Thank goodness, then, that there is a band like AM/FM, who obviously share the same amount of love for the Beach Boys and the Beatles as they do the Flaming Lips and the Minus Five. With Getting Into Sinking, AM/FM have effortlessly combined the lush and orchestrated sounds akin to that of Brian Wilson and have coupled it with the strange arrangements and experimental attitude of Wayne Coyne and company. This is definitely an album made by not only musicians, but also fans of music in the first place.

Coming off like a more technical version of the greatly underrated Summer Hymns, AM/FM stuff their airy and acoustic/electric confessionals with enough buzz, fuzz, and melody to make any Elephant Six fan happy. Much of the record dances around between subtle bedroom folk and full on chord happy jangle-thons, all tinged with the relaxed vocals of ex-Franklin guitarist Brian Sokel.

The best points of the album come, however, during the more fleshed out songs, where multi-instrumentalist Michael Parsell's presence can be felt. In the same way that an "inker" goes over the initial work of a comic book artist, Parsell assists Sokel in fleshing out his pop visions with added percussion, keyboard, and the slightly intoxicating background buzz heard on a number of the songs. This practice is exemplified especially on the dreamy "Virgins! Virgins!", the swaying "If We Burned All the Assholes, the Earth Would Look Like the Sun", the absolutely great and rocking guitar and drums workout called "Head Gone Vertical," and the horseshoe laden "All Your Dreams Come True."

Getting Into Sinking will not likely be deemed a pop masterpiece by any means (being on Polyvinyl can only hurt it's chances, sadly), but there is enough ambition wrapped up in these 12 little gems to surely make the indie pop kids rethink buying that new Wolfie album.

Reviewed by Ryan Allen
A former staff writer with fabulous hair, Ryan Allen once fronted Red Shirt Brigade with his brother, Scott. He currently fronts the art/fashion punk band Thunderbirds Are Now!, with is brother, Scott.

See other reviews by Ryan Allen



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