Category: The Alarmists

Review: The Alarmists, The Overhead Left

The Alarmists, The Overhead Left
(Instrument Control Studios)

The Alarmists have gone through some turbulent changes in the past six months. Half the previous lineup left after a disagreement about the direction of what would become the band’s third disc, The Overhead Left, and singer/guitarist Eric Lovold regrouped with original members Joe Kuefler and Ryan McMillan. Scrapping a finished album already recorded with producer Andrew Lynch (Earlimart, Imperial Teen), Lovold’s new Alarmists re-recorded the entire thing in his home studio. Whatever the original material sounded like, the finished songs on Overhead Left are polished, uncluttered pop-rock that continue in the same vein as 2007′s The Ghost And The Hired Gun—and could stand to be a little more turbulent, in terms of shaking up the Alarmists’ preferred sound. Though there’s a bit of a Sgt. Pepper feel on “The Elusive Mr. Albright,” Overhead is too familiar. Lovold has a real talent for crafting mid-tempo, melodic tunes in the Guster vein, with winningly catchy work on “Hollywood’s Not My Home” and “Car Crashing” in particular. But The Alarmists don’t show much inclination to break out of that mold. If anything, they’re settling into it, since the sonic palette here is more restricted and monochromatic than either Ghost or the 2006 EP, A Detail Of Soldiers, that rightfully snared the band considerable local praise. The potential for greatness is as palpable here as on Soldiers, but the album never gets out of third gear.

Grade: B-

Originally published in A.V. Club Twin Cities.

Best Music Of 2006: Loon State Edition

As the A.V. Club’s Twin Cities editor, I was happy to weigh in on our collective national Best Music Of 2006 list (here’s a link to my personal top 10), but I also thought it would be important to do the same for my own local music scene. I put the following list together for the A.V. Club’s Minneapolis print edition, and in the name of civic pride and all that, I’ll share it with you guys here too. Though making these annual best-of lists is one of the highlights of a critics’ year, the idea of ranking one musician against another sometimes seems a little ludicrous. Is a rap group really comparable to a folk duo, or an alt-country band? You know what they say about apples and oranges. Still, they’re both fruit, and if you can’t pick out rotten produce, you’re gonna wind up in the hospital. Of course, you can’t really compare CDs and fruit either, except to say that if you try to eat a CD you will definitely end up in the hospital even if it’s a good band. (This despite the fact that economists call people who buy CDs “consumers.”) At any rate, here are my picks for the best Minnesota-made music of 2006.

Originally published Dec. 14, 2006 on Read the complete article.

WordPress Themes

Spam prevention powered by Akismet