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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Jett Brando - The Movement Toward You

Name: Jett Brando
Album: The Movement Toward You
Year: 2000
Style: Dream Pop, Lo-Fi
Similar Bands: Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Velvet Underground, Later XTC
One Word Review: Moody Medicated Happiness
Based Out Of: Brooklyn NY / New Jersey
Label: Gern Blandsten
 The Movement Toward You - Cover, Sleeve, Record A
The Movement Toward You - Back, Lyrics, Record B
The Movement Toward You (2000)
  1. The Center of Gravity (Sink Right Down) 5:07
  2. Waiting 3:44
  3. Well, Well 3:00
  4. Athuna 2:31
  5. Love You Blues 1:22
  6. Won't You Treat It Like A Storm 1:56 /
  7. All Your Tongues 4:21
  8. More than Becoming 1:55
  9. Nobody Wants to Know 3:12
  10. In the Dead Hot Sun 4:07
  11. Who is to Decide 6:10
Album Rating (1-10): 8.5

Members & Other Bands:
Jett Brando /Jeremy Winter - Vox, Guitar, Bass, Keys, Percussion, Producing, Sleeve Design (All Natural Lemon and Lime Flavors, Chase Pagan)
Pete Murphy - Bass, Keys, Percussion, Producer, Cover Art, Photography (Jack Rubinacci, All Natural Lemon and Lime Flavor)
Steve Doherty - Drums (Hymn Makers, Delerious?, Kingsway Kids)
Alap Momin - Engineer, Mixing, Recording
Alan Douches - Final Mastering
Sonny Ristorante - Handclap & Scream Assistance
Dan Marino - Pre-Mastering
Jennifer Holland - Original Art on Cover

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band, and from the moody, shadoy artwork, I imagine it is either moody art-rock or emo pop. It was in a dollar bin, and I am a fan of the bands that come from Gern Blandsten, so I wanted to pick it up. That said, the GB artists have a bit of an edge to them, so perhaps this is much punchier than I've given its artwork credit for. But maybe not.

Album Review: At the center of this band is Jeremy Winter, a multi-instrumentalist whose work was previously in a band called All Natural Lemon and Lime flavors, similar in vein to My Bloody Valentine. This is a beautiful album that I really enjoyed, but at the same time, would never pull it out to just put it on.

“The Center of Gravity (Sink Right Down)” fades up with a ringing string note. This cuts out, and dreary acoustic guitar strums support a very Radiohead – “The Bends” style of drawn out vocals. The strings come back in, followed by drums and a full production. The song finds its repetitive droning groove and pounds it into the listener without much diversion or alteration. The one dimensional song falls into its own pattern, and there is no telling when it would ever end. So when it does so, quite abruptly, the listener is shaken awake from a hypnotic trance.
“Waiting” feels more like a Jeff Buckley song with the guitar and jazzy drums. The vocals are echoing, and remind me of Ben Folds Five’s solemn songs from Reinhold Messner ("Hospital Song"). But the chorus has a very Buckley emotional delivery, without quite as much range. Overall, it is a very moody, pretty song.
“Well, Well” feels like it is going to be an oldie-pop song. But the vocals take it in a much more relaxed direction. After a couple delicate run throughs of verse-chorus, the heavier lo-fi guitars are brought out to distort what was kind of a straightforward pop song.
“Athuna” as more moody, romantic sounding acoustic guitars and the echoes on the vocals again make the whole project very Buckley-ish. The haunting high notes in the chorus have a bit if a British feel to them too (Radiohead’s “High and Dry”). As the guitar continues to play, the song ends in a fade out.
“Love You Blues” employs a looping, solemn vocal hook over some 60’s inspired dance pop. The mesh oddly well. The end result is a medicated happiness.
“Won’t You Treat It Like A Storm” straddles the thing Yorke-Buckley voice similarity, with some held notes that rattle away and a dark, Doors-like mood (minus the famous organ sound). The song ends in a looping psychedelic bass-guitar fade out.

“All Your Tongues” starts with strong daylight, waking up vocals, and a warbling acoustic guitar line. There is a bit of an alt-country feel to this song, but it is peaceful and organic. The interlude breakdown features an alarm-sounding guitar cadence mixed in with the bass line. The song resets itself, and wobbles though a few minor notes and slightly off pitches. The song feels as if it was produced in a soft, small, intimate room.
“More than Becoming” is a bouncy pop song, tweaked out with a buzzy electric guitar (like Of Montreal). But the song is a lot of fun, with its marching melody, reminds me a little of Euros Childs (Of Gorky’z Zygotic Mynci).
“Nobody Wants to Know” steps back from the fast dance song with a waltz. This reminds me of something you might hear on a demo recording from XTC’s “Mummer.”
“In the Dead Hot Sun” features the most straightforward vocals, reminding me a little of the Kinks. The melody reminds me of something a friend of mine would write (Jon Rosenberg). The music is a rollicking 60’s inspired slightly psychedelic pop song, and it even ends with a fade out of LaLaLaLa’s. This is followed up with a quiet fade up, one note at a time guitar with a hiccupping percussion in support. After a minute, this fades back out, and actually threw me because I figured it was the next track.
“Who is to Decide” quietly comes into existence with a record skipping “whoop” sound and warbling surf/steel guitar notes. Uneasy and tired, the song lolli-gags around, oscillating from foot to foot, as the ballad-like vocals rise and fall, matching the music, like a rowboat adrift on a gentle sea. The song bobs up and down as the tide draws the boat out further on a warm, moonlit night. As if this was a dream, a static buzz begins to grow, as if the sleeper is being awoken by a skipping record with a weedwacker running outside. A harsh jolt back to reality finally ends the record.

Stand Out Track: More Than Becoming

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