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Thursday, September 11, 2008

54-40 - Since When

Name: 54-40
Album: Since When
Year: 1998
Style: College Radio / Alt-Folk
Similar Bands: REM, Hootie & The Blowfish, Gin Blossoms
One Word Review: country-REM-rock
Based Out Of: Tsawwassen, BC
Label: Columbia
Since When - Cover, Inside, Back & CD
Since When - Liner Notes, Lyrics & Tray

Since When (1998)
  1. In Your Image 3:52
  2. Lost & Lazy 3:18
  3. Since When 4:14
  4. I Could Give You More 3:31
  5. You Should Come Over 3:37
  6. Runaway John 2:18
  7. Pay For Living 3:17
  8. Angel In My Bed 3:24
  9. Playground 2:24
  10. Gereatest Mistake 3:27
  11. Stormy 5:32
  12. Last People On Earth 2:10
  13. untitled #13 1:25
Album Rating (1-10): 6.0

Members & Other Bands:
Neil Osborne - Vox, Guitar (Loud Rangers)
Phil Comparelli - Vox, Piano, Guitar
Matt Johnson - Percussion, Drums (People Noise)
Brad Merrit -Bass, Synth
Camille Henderson - Vox
Finn Mannihe - String Arrangement
Joani Bye - Vox
Tania Hancheroff - Vox
GGGarth - Vox, Producer
Darren Grahn - Performance Recording
Randy Straub - Mixing
Howard Redkopp - Asst Recording
Matt Marteinsson - Asst Recording
Gary Winger - 2nd Engineer
Josh Straub - Tea
Howie Weinberg - Mastered
Mike Roth - Artist & Repertoire
Tanya Nagowski - Prod Coordinator
Dave Allen - Equipt Management, Transportation
Steve Goode - Design
David Anthony - Photography
Allen Moy - Management (Popular Front)
Ralph James - Booking

Unknown-ness: This was another part of the CD mail package from my friend. I've never heard of these guys. The cover makes me think of the 60 rock era, with the Columbia logo, inventory number, and stereo logo displayed prominently on the front. The picture on the back shows that they are not a young band, and I discovered more about that as I researched the links. This is far from their first album. I am expecting a well-oiled, rock band with somewhat stagnant music, and a tinge of country elements.

Album Review: “In Your Image” begins with an orchestral hum, and simple acoustic guitar picking and a maraca drum beat start the song off. At first note, I thought it was slightly Bob Dylan esq. The song is simple and folky with dual layered vocals at parts. Strings are included after a minute and a half. The melody is very catchy, and changes pace for different sections of the song. It feels sort of like a Celtic sing-a-along. “Lost And Lazy” follows with a more rock / alt-country / REM feel. The pace is not quick, but it has more energy and drive than the first song. REM is the perfect description for the song. “Since When” starts with a funky synthesizer hook that reminds me of “Green Onions.” It feels like a 60’s rock song until it gets to the over-produced chorus. There is that classic organ sound from the keyboards, and the go-go beat help with the imagery. “I Could Give You More” begins with acoustic guitar, then piano is added behind it creating a slow ballad. It picks up a bit in the instrumental, and couples it by adding female vocals, which also layer with the main vocals as the song ends. “You Should Come Over” feels like the Gin Blossoms a bit, with the sound of the guitar and relaxed vocals. The vocals are nearly anthemic. “Runaway John” is a dark song with guitar and dual male/female vocals only. It kinda feels like a demo or a half finished song that you expect to kick in at any minute, but never does. “Pay for Living” begins with the annoying alt-country guitar that played in a loop. It never really gets better from there, feeling like a Hootie & The Blowfish song. “Angel In My Bed” starts as a deep vocal song, featuring rhythm acoustic and countrified electric guitars. But the regular vocals return after the first verse. “Playground” has country vocals, but is all piano & bass musically. Again, it feels like an unfinished demo, ready to kick in at any moment. The only thing that kicks in is an orchestral string arrangement, which slows the song down even further. “Greatest Mistake” slowly rises in volume, and the music and backing vocals come in creating a swaying shanty of a drinking song. “Stormy’s” quiet acoustic introduction only picks up in volume and a bit in strength by the chorus, but it still drags its feet, waiting for the strings to catch up. It slowly builds, but never really amounts to anything memorable. “Last People On Earth” starts as a quiet, revolving song save the guitar buzz in the very beginning. It becomes a bouncy poppy song, complete with hand claps, but is drenched one distorted guitar effect. It winds down the way it begins into the “Untitled Track” which sounds like an orchestra warming up, and is mainly just quiet piano and a trumpet communicating. Nothing worth hanging on for.

Stand-Out Track: Since When

Links:
54-40 - allmusic
54-40 - myspace
54-40 - wikipedia
54-40 - official site
54-40 - lost & lazy site
54-40 - Youtube video vault
54-40 - Bio

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