Saddle Creek | Now It's Overhead | Reviews


Now It's Overhead

Author: Keith Montesano
08/14/2001 | | | Album Review
I have to admit I never really knew that every record released on Saddle Creek before this one was by a band from Omaha, Nebraska.

Now It's Overhead is essentially Andy LeMaster; he wrote all of the music. But there are four band members, so I suppose they had an integral part in everything.
Andy also has been a touring member with Bright eyes, co-owns the Chase Park Transduction Recording Studio (with David Barbe from Sugar and Andy Baker from
The Glands) in Athens, Georgia, recorded the album, and painted all the artwork. So he's no slouch if that's what you're thinking.

Though Now It's Overhead will never be as ambitious as the many projects of Eric Bachmann (whom I have nothing but great things to say about), what he does
really got my attention when I first put it on.

A new thing that everyone's trying to do is bring back the darker sound of bands like The Cure, and mostly no one succeeds. Now It's Overhead doesn't sound like The Cure, but everyone will be drawing comparison. There are pleasant vocals, lush keyboards, some acoustic and electronic drums, the usual stuff like guitars and bass, and plenty of weird experimentation with all of it. One of the things that is present in a lot of songs is the "wah" sound of the keyboard that's supposed to mimic almost another vocalist. It's not exactly a "wah" sound, but if a vocalist was in the back repeating that sound is what I'm trying to get it. It works really well with the music.

Some of the songs aren't necessarily upbeat, but they remain more poppy than some of the darker songs. There's a great mix of both. And there's also experimentation that works, such "6th Grade Roller," which is steeped in oddly plucked guitar notes, dark vocals, and a pounding drum beat. It's been done ten times over by other bands, but it works.

And that's what I keep saying: it works. I think one of the reasons Andy is so good at making all this stuff work is because he's been working in that studio for so long. He knows how stuff should sound, and he knows how his stuff should sound, which makes this for an exciting, fresh, and overall pleasant listen.


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