Saddle Creek | Now It's Overhead | Reviews


Now It's Overhead

Author: Mike Conklin
10/01/2001 | | | Album Review
For the first time in the history of the label, Saddle Creek Records has decided to work with a band from outside the state of Nebraska. Considering the recent success of Omaha bands like Bright Eyes, Cursive and the Faint, you might be wondering why they saw the need to stray from their stomping ground, and put quite simply, it's because Athens, GA's Now It's Overhead are really good. Led by Andy LeMaster - who despite living in halfway across the country has become one of the few staples of the Bright Eyes lineup on stage and in the studio - Now It's Overhead play dark, keyboard-heavy pop music that's as catchy as it is complex. Their self-titled debut was recorded at Chase Park Transactions, an Athens studio that is co-owned by LeMaster. In addition to playing many of the instruments on the record, LeMaster manned the recording console, and admirably, the production is as interesting and spellbinding as the songs themselves. His greatest feat, perhaps, was flawlessly combining synthetic and acoustic drum sounds, but that's certainly not where it ends. Keyboards constantly shift channels, and instruments (including LeMaster's vocals) consistently come really close to being overblown, creating a listening experience that is almost unsettling. But that's why Now It's Overhead are so good: you can lose yourself in the complexities of the many layers of music just as easily as you can lose yourself in the upbeat melodies you'll be humming for days.


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