Reviews

Dark Light Daybreak

Author: Annie Zaleski
07/12/2006 | St. Louis Riverfront Times | www.riverfronttimes.com | Live Show Preview
Saddle Creek darlings Now It's Overhead — who opened R.E.M.'s 2004 Fox Theatre show — successfully capture the enigmatic brooding and mystical Southern Gothic longing of the Athens, Georgia, band's best albums. On the upcoming Dark Light Daybreak, NIO vocalist-songwriter-wunderkind Andy LeMaster croons with a faint wrinkled twang that's very Stipean, while the accompanying music — including spiraling lullabies, stormy rock and synth-speckled lurches — include the band's best compositions yet. (Added bonus: The fabulous, multi-layered "Estranged" is a lost shoegazer anthem.) In contrast, Omaha's Tilly and the Wall sound like R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People" playing on a continuous loop, all rainbows and harmonic sunshine courtesy of twinkle-toed tap-dancer Jamie Williams and cheerful, dueling female vocalists. But their second album, Bottoms of Barrels, lets cracks of lyrical darkness peek through their otherwise Salvador Dalํ-surreal, optimistic wordplay. This cloud cover is brief, though, as bullfighting horns, handclaps and other Technicolor indie-rock tricks create a Romper Room-worthy uplift.


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