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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
Nobody Knows This is Everywhere
Tigerstyle Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
If you are one of those people that turned your nose up at the bands from the rainy northwest after the grunge explosion, then you have been missing out. A lot of the talent was strip-mined out of the area by the mid 90's, and many a God-awful rock band got a record deal in the wake, but bands like Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie have been making huge blips on the rock radar in the past few years. 764-Hero is another one of those bands' northwestern brethren that has been trying to throw their towel into this lofty pantheon over the course of their last few releases, and while Nobody Knows This is Everywhere - whose title is a questionably clever rearrangement of the classic Neil Young album title, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere - is a solid album, it doesn't quite have the endurance to get the band into those hallowed marble halls just yet.

The band seems to have permanently added a bass player to the two-piece guitar and drum set up they began with, and while the warm body filling that position has mutated since the release of Weekends of Sound - low end duties were handled by Modest Mouse touring cohort Robin P. on this album - the bass playing is one of the highlights of the disc. Nobody Knows This is Everywhere, produced by Phil Ek, sounds as good as anything the man has committed to magnetic tape recently. Ek has been the head honcho behind the boards for Built to Spill since 1993 and the quality of recordings that he has turned out lately is beginning to make having his name included in the liner notes synonymous with success. Bigger indie acts such as Modest Mouse - whom 764-Hero released a collaborative disc with in 1998 - and Les Savy Fav have all been students enrolled in the Ek school of recording recently. My only gripe here, which is really more of the band's fault than anything that Ek could have fixed, is the somewhat stagnant sonic characteristics of each song on the record. Even with the occasional bit of piano and chorused guitar thrown in, every song is so guitar driven and structured in the same vein that they tend to become monotonous and are easily tuned out towards the end of the disc. This may explain why the first 2 tracks, "Oceanbound" and "Photographic Evidence", seem twice as engaging as "Confetti Confessional" or "Satellites".

"Satellites", as well as some of the other slower numbers on the album, suffer from another of the bands shortcomings; singer John Atkins is not a crooner. The amped-up rock songs come off without a hitch, but when the pace slows, Atkins' voice remains a bit too shrill and shiver-inducing to ever coat you like a blanket. These songs also make the generally long running time of each song become more apparent. Over the course of ten tracks the album runs just over 48 minutes, with most songs bordering and often surpassing the five minute mark when three and half or four minutes may have been all the time any single song warranted. The all too telling refrain of Satellites, "and you never did anything different/you just sat there…" pretty much sums the track, and certain parts of this disc, up tidily.

Even though this is an incredibly decent record - I'm sure fans of the band's previous work will be quite pleased - it never managed to completely win me over. My ears stay with it the whole time, but none of the melodies stick with me when the disc ends. Nobody Knows This is Everywhere never really engrosses or engages, and so at the end, I shrug my shoulders, wondering exactly what is that keeps me from loving this album, and I move on. I can see giving this a few more spins in the future, but unfortunately, it won't become a permanent member of my collection.

Reviewed by Mark Skipper
Mark Skipper currently resides in Nashville, TN where he can be found skipping shows, drinking Guinness, making bad home recordings, and complaining about how much music sucks these days.

See other reviews by Mark Skipper



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