Monthly Archives: October 2013

Quasi – Mole City

The city of Portland, Oregon has produced some great bands over the last decade or so; The Thermals and Red Fang to name just two, and now Quasi are making waves as well. They’ve been going since the early 90s but haven’t yet made an impact over here, but all that could change with the release of Mole City.

Their time spent as Elliott Smith’s backing band can be heard, layered beneath everything they do, but they are not even remotely as mellow or melancholy. ‘You Can Stay But You Gotta Go’ begins the album as a rocket blasting off with a powerful melody to swing on and grizzly guitars to match, all of which draws you in. There are 24 tracks on this album, but with several tracks barely reaching a minute that might be a little misleading. This is actually a collection of concise bursts of indie-rock.

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Be Like Pablo – The New Adventures

Billed as punk rock for nerds, Be Like Pablo are nothing of the sort. Their debut, The New Adventures, is more like a twee twist on pop-punk, filled with synth and boy/girl vocal harmonies.

Opener ‘The Things You Do’ begins as a dorky ode to a love who won’t look in singer Ewen Watson’s direction. What develops, and it is a pattern which doesn’t take long to realise, is a song of colour-by-number scenarios and mushy sentiment. ‘The Post-it Song’ features lines like “My heart’s not ready yet”, and the back and forth of “Is this good for both of us?”. Such limp lyrics would even embarrass the Mouseketeers. On top of this, the female vocals of Karen Johnston lack conviction while Ewen Watson strains to be so boyish he sounds like a five-year-old yelling for attention.

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