Posts Tagged ‘Van Pelt’
This album, to put it short: is incredible. From the subtle, braille covered packaging and insert littered with graphs and equations (thats the reason why you only see a plain green cover here, you have to feel the cover), to the moody post-hardcore that lurks threateningly within, this is just the whole package. If there was any doubt before, this proves that Month of Birthdays are one of the most unique, creative, and downright great bands we’ve got on these shores right now.
For much of the album, you’ve got blissful, mellowed, chilled-out tunes to play late at night and lose yourself in the beauty of. It’s all very tidal. Small waves mind you. But every now and again you get caught up in a huge tsunami like “Of Chickens” which booms out whilst Cath gets all loud. For much of the rest of the time you get super-quiet, meandering songs with lots of repetetive guitar, softly-softly drumming and wandering vocals that soothe and ease you through the small hours if you happen to still be up. Don’t turn the light on. “Anticipated and Intercepted” practically stops in the middle whilst four fifths of the band go off for a cup of tea leaving one person to strum a guitar with the volume on 1.
I guess they recorded some of the songs at lower levels than others intentionally, because this creates a totally wonderful effect of contrast. The quiet songs really are quiet unless you turn them up. Which would kind of defeat the object, as from time to time these quiet songs break into sweeping power without requiring your over attentive ‘help’. Getting back to “Anticipated and Intercepted” again, that one totally unexpectedly introduces some lumbering hardcore chug-chug at one point after seemingly heading down the ‘pretty’ path for much of the song. Inspired! Also, you’ve got to love a song (“Mind Comes To Thoughts”) which uses a sample of a BBC radio travel report and you can even hear cars buzzing past in the distance behind some truly lovely, gentle guitar. No singing until 5 minutes in too. Fucking yes, Month of Birthdays really know how to push my buttons.
It’s tough for comparisons. Some of the really twinkly bits remind me of Rainer Maria, or sometimes the Van Pelt. Perhaps mixed with the moody tendencies and dynamics of Indian Summer? Bob Tilton maybe? But for the band’s sound as a whole, you got me. Yikes, truly an original sounding record! I’m running scared. (Source)
I almost had forgotten that I own this record, but when “four cornered night” was released it made my summer, which was the summer of 2000. In the last weeks I listened again several times to Jets to Brazil who still keep their magic for me. In my opinion, this second album brings out the true personality of Jets to Brazil. Along with adding former Van Pelt guitarist Brian Maryansky to the fold (fronted by Blake Schwarzenbach (ex-Jawbreaker) with bassist Jeremy Chatelain (ex-Handsome) and former Texas is the Reason drummer Chris Daly), Jets to Brazil add dimension, savoir faire, and one hell of a grand piano to forge ahead with a breathtaking new direction. And just read that list of bands again: Jawbreaker, Texas is the reason, Van Pelt, Handsome… do you have to know more? Three top bands of american indie rock that evolved in the early 90s from the post-hardcore scene (plus post-Helmet project Handsome) and every expectation is fullfilled. Mastermind Blake really opens up here and lets his contradictory gloomy yet hopeful lines fill your head with images of hammocks, lazy rivers, and sunny summer afternoons with nothing to do.