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This Week In Dallas Music History: Lewis Makes More Progress With Deep Elm Records

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In the late '90s and early aughts, there were a handful of Dallas bands that made a big splash locally, and a slightly smaller splash nationally.

Today's edition of This Week In Dallas Music History focuses on one such act -- Lewis, whose brief three-year run saw the band release two albums, the second of which, Even So, was released this week in 2002 on Deep Elm Records. Former Observer writer Shannon Sutlief caught up with the band on the verge of their album release.

Even So, which can still be heard in full over at the Deep Elm Records website, was produced by Dallas/Denton go-to guy Matt Pence, whose signature raw production style can be found all over the record. Lewis managed to navigate the space between dark emo-rock and brit-pop, with noticeable influences from Radiohead and Pedro The Lion.

According to Sutief, however, while the band was on the verge of releasing its biggest record yet, it was also on the verge of falling apart.

Drummer John Owen Parish had recently left the band, as did guitarist Matt Beaton, who moved to Chicago so his wife could attend art school. This left the band with singer Brett Tohlen and bassist Jeff Truly. But Truly had a wedding planned months away, so touring Even So was out of the question.

According to the story, Tohlen seemed quite disappointed by how it all went down in the end.

"It sucks because it's not these four guys who had this dream of going out and playing together," he said.

It was only a matter of time before the band essentially broke up. There were other tours in the following years, but the band never matched the sharp effort it made on Even So.

Read the entire story in the Observer archives.

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