By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Hailing from Cincinnati, this eccentric but muscular quartet features ex-Afghan Whigs bassist John Curley, but the soul of the group is singing guitarist Austin Brown. Brown's jittery personality, fiery lead work and darkly impressionistic lyrics make All of This and More, the band's sophomore effort, more than a sum of its classic alt-rock influences.
"I swear I'll take care of all of this tomorrow," Brown sings on "New Vocation," conveying the slacker mentality of Pavement, yet the music is informed by a harder muse, as if Television or Yo La Tengo was tackling the early songbook of The Who. Distinctly original, songs such as "We Celebrate Your Mistakes" and "Underneath the Carpet" reflect a Midwestern, urban malaise that is as claustrophobic as it is propulsive, intense commentary on the confines of concrete and occupation. "Embrace your decay," Brown sneers on the song of the same name as Curley and drummer Joe King provide raucous support--the song itself a microcosm for the entire effort, observations of cracking roadways and shards of glass raining down from dilapidated skyscrapers. "No one tries to stall the progress of these mistakes," Brown concludes as the band festers on, celebratory in their cage, still optimistic in the uplifting power of noise.
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