Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kind words from Bootleg Magazine

I WAS TOTALLY DESTROYING IT

The Beached Margin/Done Waiting EP

If their debut was about celebrating youth and having fun while exploring sonic power-pop ideas then I Was Totally Destroying It's follow up EP's (and October full length release Horror Vacui) are about coming to terms with adulthood and relationships, that life stops being a party.

Compiling unreleased material and a previously digital-only free release, The Beached Margin EP and Done Waiting EP as a vinyl release by Greyday Records is a success, and a hard won one at that. After leaving a local N.C. label for greener pastures, IWTDI finally gets these energetic and emotional tunes out.

Growing can be a struggle and it finds light here yet with IWTDI continuing to distill high energy power pop on both EP's. Done Waiting is seven songs that feel less like leftover tracks from their debut than varied takes on familiar ideas. Done Waiting is mostly wild-eyed, a blast of energy on the title track and ‘Teeth’ is just as explosive, more immediate and troubled. John Booker and Rachel Hirsh continue to be outstanding vocalists, whether together or apart. Everything here illustrates a growth spurt, taking on new shapes, architecture and flavors. Half way in the band begins to experiment, infusing late sixties melodies or electronic beats on ‘I’m Broke and So is Everything I Own’ – a bouncing and murky song that’s theatrical, spooky and, briefly at times, a party. ‘The Masquerade’ opens with a The Who-like acoustic melody recalling ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ but it’s an ethereal track, brief at two minutes, but gutsy for its spare qualities and restraint. ‘Radar Song’ may weight Done Waiting, sounding indifferent to the whole and like another band entirely, hinting . But as the longest track, it’s the most at risk yet has much to offer.

The Beached Margin collects four songs, either larger in scope or decidedly spare, notably 'Me and My friends' which has an acoustic Neil Young quality. 'Fences' navigates between careful pacing and explosive, punchy rhythms, clearly showing how the band can craft memorable songs with delicious melodies. As a vinyl release (on muted purple wax no less) the tracks have a thicker, more alive feel than their free download counterparts. The sound is heavier, almost as if the band is playing in the room - the vocals more crystallized and crisp.

IWTDI is a righteous combination, blending rock, harmony and pop sounds with a bounty of ideas. The band scorches down the middle of the American highway, negating clich├ęs. IWTDI has a lot of territory in which to cover, hopefully they’ll keep exploring.

- Brian Tucker

http://www.myspace.com/avenuemagazinepresents

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