Saddle Creek | Sorry About Dresden | Reviews


The Convenience of Indecision

Author: BH
01/01/2002 | Sup Mag | | Album Review
Sorry About Dresden's previous albums drew frequent comparisons to Archers of Loaf, by dint of their quizzical lyrics and British punk meets hyper pop sound, which obviously didn't hurt their chances for popularity here in Chapel Hill. Their Saddle Creek debut, then, is a radical deviation, a portrait of a band coming into their own.

The brume of distortion that enveloped The Mayor Will Abdicate and the following EP has been peeled away from the bulk of the record, allowing the previously adumbrated and excellent lyrics to see the light of day (e.g. "I'd get off your back / if you got off your knees."). Don't be misled, the dearth of distortion doesn't equal a softening or a bid for a more "accessible" sound. Distortion can be an effective tool, but it can also be a sort of smoke-and-mirrors appurtenance to obscure technical deficiencies or poor songwriting, and this leaner, more sinewy album can afford to use it sparingly.

Matt Oberst and Eric Roehrig have tweaked out their vocal dynamic for maximum impact, resulting in songs that slither and snap like a snake in a slap bracelet. Brian Paulson recorded the first version of Convenience, but time constraints prevented SAD and Paulson from making the album they envisioned. Mike Mogis, who has put his distinctive touch (i.e. pedal steel everywhere) on so many Saddle Creek releases, then stepped in and played a vital role in shaping the sound of the "new" Sorry About Dresden. Look for these guys to be the next nationally recognized success story from Chapel Hill.


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