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Variance

you can’t look at the sky without looking right through it

Pedro the Lion

Sparta

The Comas

The Good Life

The National

“Achilles Heel” Jade Tree

“Porcelain” Dreamworks

“Conductor” Yep Roc

“Album of the Year” Saddle Creek

“Cherry Tree” Saddle Creek

“Achilles Heel” is Pedro the Lion’s best album to date. The only bad thing is, Pedro the Lion has a particular sound that is evident on each album, which makes some of the new music seem kind of redundant.

“Porcelain” is a great follow up to Sparta’s debut “Wiretap Scars”. On Porcelain, singer Jim Ward wrote most of the lyrics and it gives “Porcelain” a more personal feel. This cd also is a lot more rocking than their previous album. Producer Mike Major wanted to make “Porcelain” sound more like Sparta’s live shows, so the band played all the parts together not separately. Also, they booked 6 weeks for recording to allow for experimenting and going in different musical directions. The end result is a well played album that should multiply in their live show.

Before listening to Conductor, put in the companion DVD. Watch as all the songs on the CD come to life in a computer animated story. Each song has a different chapter to the story. Then every time you listen to the CD you will see those images on the DVD in the back of your mind. Conductor is a collection of slow pop song and fuzzed out rock songs.

You may remember Tim Kashner from Cursive. They put out a great album called “The Ugly Organ”. The Good Life is Tim plus a bunch of friends and the sound is a lot different than Cursive. While Cursive is kind of angular and experimental sounding, The Good Life has more of a traditional indie music sound. There are some really good songs on this album, but I was a little disappointed because the songs on their previous EP were faster.

I’m not a big fan of T h e N a t i o n a l ’s music. The lead singer’s voice is deep and slow and it kinda makes me sleepy. The instruments were ok. I’m sure that there are a bunch of people that would like this CDep. If you liked their last album “Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers” then you’d probably like this EP. I’m sure in a few years I’ll totally love this album, but right now I don’t

Swimmer's Ear Magazine #14  

This issue of Swimmer's Ear features interviews with skateboarder Jesse Reed and bands Challenger, Despistado, and Sparta. A special feature...

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