Saddle Creek | Now It's Overhead | Reviews


Fall Back Open

Author: Timothy Golden
05/01/2004 | | | Album Review
It's safe to say that there isn't a band close to doing what Athen's GA's own Now It's Overhead is doing. They expertly mix the sounds of 80s bands like Depeche Mode and The Cure with 60s pop like The Grassroots and The Turtles, while at the same time being as un-pop as possible by borrowing inspiration from the likes of labelmates Bright Eyes and The Faint and fellow genre-benders Placebo and My Bloody Valentine.

Their second release, Fall Back Open, is just an amazing accomplishment. It's so damn musical -- each song covers so much different ground and breaks so many different molds that it's hard to really comprehend what this band is doing until after about thirty straight listens. Their ideas are so stylistically off the map that they really do go over your head (pun intended), and it's easy to get lost in another world while indulging. "Wait in Line" and "Profile" are extremely melodramatic, but they're so addictive it hurts -- these are not your here-today, gone tomorrow favorites either. This is one of those albums that just calls out to be listened to at all times, no matter how many times you put it down.

While the first half of the record is indeed amazing, it does tend to wander a little bit from time to time. The songs could be a little bit shorter, the thoughts more concise -- but really, it's just fine the way it is. There are a lot more highlights on the second half of the record, though -- "Reverse" is a great track for fans of Spiritualized, and "A Little Consolation" probably even tops all of their past work with all of its shoegaze glory.

Aside from all the talent within the band, NIO get some outside help from the likes of Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), who both contribute backing vocals. Without them, though, this album would probably have the same effect, but still, the fact that they got Michael Stipe on their record just shows how cool and indie these guys are. All joking aside, this is definitely one of those records you just have to hear to really, um, get.

*4/5* -- Check this out if you like the member's other bands (Bright Eyes and Azure Ray), or if you like cool 80s music with a modern, more indie twist. Recommended.

Fall Back Open

Fall Back Open

CD / MP3