Reviews

The Convenience of Indecision

Author: Cassie Glanney
12/12/2001 | Lost at Sea | www.lostatsea.net | Album Review
Saddle Creek records have had quite a run over the past few years in taking a cell of highly talented Omaha musicians and turning out three of the most hyped bands in post-punk history. While the Saddle Creek gang were releasing a string of great records I can imagine them telling Connor Oberst's brother Matt Not Now, Not Now, over and over again. When the Faint, Cursive and especially Bright Eyes had blown up like supernovas in the bitter indie rock world, the Omaha gang must have assumed they could put out anything and have it pass for great. After all, when the first Bright Eyes/Son, Ambulance split from Insound didn't garner much attention Saddle Creek put out another split between the two artists, milking Bright Eyes' newfound celebrity for every drop, and the protege Son, Ambulance finally caught on.

Now the label is ready to take on the new challenge in indie rock - passing off a standard fare emo band as great, without a single "ex-member of". Well, remember how Connor Oberst's brother Matt had that band? What Saddle Creek does have in Sorry About Dresden is a "brother of" band. Will it work? Well, you know, not quite.

I've heard quite a few people insist that the "brother of" angle wasn't intentionally played, but that is a statement made hard to believe by the fact that it is mentioned in the second sentence of the liner notes. So much for making a name for yourself.

Although members of Sorry About Dresden have their past in Omaha, their sound is rooted in their new home, Chapel Hill. From the jangled guitar of "A Losing Season" through the duration of the album, it's the tried and tried and tired blueprint of Midwest Emo meets sloppy Chapel Hill Superchunk rock. Not only is there a classic punk pose on the press photo - Hey! I'm jumping in the air with my guitar! - but there are classic emo lyrics like "Burn the letters that you never wrote / Anywhere you hang your hat is not your home". The third track, "One Version of Events," is supposed to be anthemic but simply sounds like a whining, belt-wrapped punk.

I had probably heard this album a hundred times before- not exactly the same songs but the exact same idea. An album like The Convenience of Indecision try to "mix it up" by throwing a little tykes piano and Bob Mould vocals over the top of an outtake from Nada
Surf's High/Low, as it does in "A Brilliant Sky".

I listened to this album through, from the other room, about twenty times and didn't notice anything that at all grabbed my attention. Upon closer inspection, I couldn't really make it past the regurgitated fumes of "It's Morning Again In America" without swelling from bitterness.

Its the end of the year and, with few great albums and a ton of mediocre ones, 2001 has left me very jaded. Albums like this don't stand a
chance with me now.


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