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The 101 "Green Street" CD

The 101 - Green Street

This is a new band from Eric Richter of Christie Front Drive, who I actually haven't heard in many years now, despite being a fan of theirs when I was younger. Something about this material reminds me of something I can't place, but it doesn't particularly remind me of Christie Front Drive. Which is fine, I don't care anyway, these are good songs. It's mainly just laidback rock with indie and emo smatterings. It's not too poppy, not too rocked out, but it's also not sappy or quirky or particularly angular either, so it just kind of rests in this middleground that brings in a bunch of similar yet different styles. I really enjoy the singing, the vocals are nicely delivered with a good amount of emphasis and feeling, keeping things simple and at times restrained, but also bringing in some vocal harmonies and such to accent certain moments. "Never In" opens with one of the catchiest frameworks of the disc, and perhaps sounds more "traditional" than some of this material (and that's not a bad thing); "Wife" has an alternate sort of recording sound with distant percussion mainly in the left channel and guitars mainly in the right; "Verve" uses lots of densely layered guitar droning that kind of reminds me of a U2 sort of thing or something; and "Left On" starts with acoustic guitars and really soft singing, but eventually opens up into one of the most energetic (but sadly brief) chord progressions of the disc, keeping a moderate pace and somewhat laidback vocal approach; while "Bus Fare" is far more straightforward and rock-based. "Regret" runs just over seven minutes to close and uses a lot of awesome arpeggiated riffing (not unlike the earlier "Wolf") that reminds me of the better side of 80's pop rock (which I love) before caving into a cacophony of droning guitar textures over the repetitive pulse of the rhythm section... not too shabby. The production varies a bit from song to song (intentionally, it seems) but maintains a pretty consistent aesthetic that's somewhat dry and has a lo-fi kind of vibe, but not to he point where it comes off as truly raw. It sounds good and has a nice, clear mix, and I'm not bothered by anything. The guitars are the most focal instrument, with pulsing basslines resting alongside the crisp drumming, and the vocals tending to kind of shuffle back and forth amidst the instrumentation. The layout is damn minimal but looks pretty nice. Outside are some great, stark black and white photos of city streets, and elsewhere are some manipulated images of large groups of people used as texture more than anything. There's barely any text at all, just the tracklist and stuff. There's not even any lineup or contact information for the band. I like this, though. A couple of the songs do very little for me, but none of it's bad, and there are a good number of very nice tunes here. They've managed to collect a tactfully diverse set of songs that still fit together and flow well, so I'll be looking forward to hearing more from 'em. (7/10)
Running time - 34:50, Tracks: 10
[Notable tracks: Never In, Wolf, Left On, Regret]
Limekiln Records - http://www.limekilnrecords.com

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Other reviews from the label "Limekiln" (2):
Renee Heartfelt "Magdalene" CD [Limekiln] (September 29, 2004)
Life in Pictures "Songs From the Sawmill" CD [Limekiln] (May 01, 2004)
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