Friday, July 24, 2009

Pretend- Bones in the Soil, Rust in the Oil

Genre: math rock, indie rock, experimental

So I'm not the kinda guy to listen to 12 minute songs. If you ask me if I like Explosions in the Sky or Godspeed!, I'll say yes. But when did I listen to them last? Years ago. So even though I loved the two Pretend songs on the MySpace page, I was wary when I saw the 7, 10, and 13 minute tracks. Halfway through "Flair," I was about to give this album a 7.5. Been there, done that; they're using the same tricks on every song; this isn't as pretty as I wanted. If you feel this way, pleeeease just keep listening. Then buy 200 copies of this CD and hand them out on the street. Pretend is a specific style, vibe, and presence, and every note is on purpose. This is the kind of thoughtful music that needs to be coming out in 2009.

Think about if Joan of Arc was a jam band, like the best jam band ever, and then they had Dilute's singer. And really rockin drums. It kind of reminds me of a mathier Sagarmatha, actually (The Appleseed Cast). I'll admit, some of the jammy parts use the same fast strumming and five-note-picking a little too much, but when the next section of the song comes in, you are instantly hooked again. The whole album is a journey (to use a stale metaphor) and as soon as you get tired of one road, you get thrown on a hairpin turn. The only places I got a little bored were on the beginning of "Flair" and halfway through the title track, but it's all just part of the process. Have I mentioned the amazing stops and turnarounds these guys throw in every song? The album art is great, the lyrics are great, everything makes this one of the best releases of 2009. My only complaint is that the engineering could have used some tweaking at points, but this really is pretty minor when it is even noticeable. Makes me want to go listen to some Little League... then relisten Pretend.

Fav tracks: "Alive in the Tone," "Those Luminous Noises...," and "Spiral Born Black..."
9.3/10 (Notice how I only rate albums I really like? Wonder why that is.)

BUY THIS ALBUM IF YOU LIKE IT (myspace.com/pretendrock)
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=BHMDZC6M

15 comments:

mathu said...

i bought this, but it's gonna be a week or so before it reaches scotland, haha, so thanks for this man!

hmmm said...

dude, no problem. i'd love to hear what you think about it!

Anonymous said...

So the first listen through, some of the improvisation threw me off, but i now absolutely love it. when i saw the lengths of the songs i got a bit nervous, such a flair, but the music surprisingly kept me interested all the way through. the drums are what do it for me really...all those subtle, jazzy shifts throughout every song...even under the repeated guitar parts, really drive the melodies home and give you that floaty bouncy feeling...you know the one=D very reminiscent of toe, though....dare i say it...maybe even a bit better. i ove the length og the album too!!! when i want to listen to it i don't have to sit there and look at all the songs and try to sift through the good ones, the ok ones, and the shitty ones *coughjoanofarccough*
the onöy nitpicky thing i can pull out of my time with this album is the occaisional lack of bass presence that sort of leave the guitars hanging sometimes.....other than that, this album the without the a doubt the best release of this year so far, and its going to be pretty damn hard to top.

-ty

(plz excuse typos as i writing on a european keyboard currently)

Anonymous said...

such **as** flair haha i knew it

hmmm said...

yeah, i pretty much felt the same way the first time through, but i totally think it's all pretty perfect now. i wouldn't go so far as to say the drums are BETTER than toe... but they are definitely what keeps things interesting.

mathu said...

okay, so i'm now just starting my second listen and so far this is insanely good.
like, i knew from the myspace songs that it'd be, at the very least, some nice background music but I wasn't expecting anything so engrossing.

I agree about the drums, also, they're possibly the best part of the record. So tight.

arlan said...
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arlan said...
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hmmm said...

my friends introduced me to little league and then i just followed them to pretend. alabama is just a terrible place for music, so we look for good music REALLY hard, haha.

arlan said...
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hmmm said...

thanks man, i'll try!

Anonymous said...

myspace may be a steaming hunk of shit otherwise but it has become an amazing tool for independent and DIY music. we as musicians and music appreciators should cherish and respect the time that we live in, in which we can record and produce our own music with inexpensive consumer software and computers, and distribute it ourselves through a worldwide electronic information network. it wasn't so long ago that this was utterly inconcievable, and i personally have made it a point to appreciate that more than i ever have.

-ty

Adrian said...

This album was epic imo, but many elements were extremely reminiscent to Dilute (I learned this after I listened to the album). I also think that the drumming is in total super epic but at times his stylistic tendencies seem to be overplayed once in a while.

Sam said...

i feel you on the dilute comment. and i guess i can see your comment about the drumming, but even though many of the parts are similar, they always complement the other instruments well and are very original.

Anonymous said...

"Regardless of what you were fighting for, you know it's just not a real fight anymore....cus your going to die, yes you are really yes you are really..."


this band hits akashic memory smoothness... these and you are great people, I can hear and see it!!!