This Story “Darling, It’s War”

Album Reviews | Apr 22nd, 2007

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Record Label: Standard Recording Company
Genre: Indie
Band Link: link
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The first track begins with sleighbells and percussion, and over time various other elements trickle in – guitar, trumpet, banjo, violins, xylophone, etc. – creating an Air-like instrumental with unconventional instruments, fun interplay, and a built-up catchy, twangy melody.

Fortunately, the bells and whistles remain throughout the album. Unfortunately, the vocals kick in beginning with the second song, and they downgrade the overall sound. The band has a male-female thing going, usually singing in unison. The girl is pretty good, and her smooth voice flows with the music – I would love to hear these same songs with only her. The guy’s voice, though, has this irritatingly intense, breathless quality, and is too low and off-key. It grounds the music and almost buries it.

The music is great though. It’s dense yet ethereal, lush and airy. It has a twang to it that can go either country or Irish-folk, depending on the vocals. The drumming has a resounding depth, like timpanies in an orchestra pit, but the rhythms are jazzily upbeat (check out the shuffling and bells/handclap solo on The Cute Song, and the snare-heavy marching beat on Life Before Love).

Vocals are always a sticking point with me, and in a couple of more listens I’ll probably get over them. So add half a star if you’re less discriminating than me.

Bottom Line: Layered, multi-instrumental indie with disappointing vox.
Notable Tracks: One Foot Off The Merry-Go-Round, Madeline Get Your Gun, The Cute Song
Overall Rating: