The (Finally) PopNarcotic Top 20 Of 2009 (Cont.)

February 2, 2010 at 4:53 pm (Uncategorized)

17. The Faraway Places
Out Of The Rain, the Thunder, & The Lightning

To read the band’s own promo materials, they’d have you believe that krautrock pioneers like Can and Neu were a huge influence on their sound. I…guess I hear it. More than that–in fact much more than that, I hear what sounds like a great fat slab of brilliant American rock and roll, a sound that puts me very much in mind of the music that came gushing like a torrent out of the southeastern United States back in the early-to-mid 1980’s. I hear echoes of Pylon and early B-52’s (Chris Colthart and Donna Coppola vocally can’t help but sound a wee bit like the early days of Schneider and Pierson on the bouncy “The Sun Goes West”), traces of Windbreakers and Primitons…and a production sensibility that sounds right out of the good ol’ Drive In Studio.

To be more clear: the guitars on Rain/Thunder/Lightning sound totally fuzzy and totally kick-ass. The hooks on the album go deep and pull you in, even when they’re buried (“F-F-F-F-Fall Down” is the best example; you know that the song title just *has* to be part of a totally great chorus, but they actually ratchet up the tension in the song and make you wait for the coda for the sing-along payoff–but what a payoff it is!) Maybe the best song on the disc is the memorable “You Can Cry”. The song is a slow-building stunner that uncorks an awesome George Harrison guitar figure in the chorus, and it just pushes the song into the upper realm of the best songs of the year.

Hear the whole album here.


The PopNarcotic Top 20 of 2009:

17. The Faraway Places, Out Of The Rain, The Thunder, & The Lightning
18. Crocodiles, Summer of Hate
19. The Idle Hands, The Hearts We Broke On The Way To The Show
20. The Pretty Things With Phillippe DeBarge, S/T

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