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Letterpress, The
(Sunset Alliance)

If you’re going to have two bass players in your band, one of them should be Rajiv Patel. By that measure, the Letterpress is a-ok. Rajiv also plays guitar with Before Braille. In fact, Dustin Carson, who plays drums here, was in Before Braille too, before Rajiv joined. But Input/Output doesn’t sound like "Cattle Punching On A Jack Rabbit". The band is probably sick of this comparison by now, but they really do sound like Pinback.

But, when it comes to songwriting, this album is as far from Pinback’s "Tripoli" as it is from Before Braille’s "A Cinema Spine". Jeremy Drysdale, ex of Noah Blake, is credited with writing all the songs. They’re pleasant, sort of dark, verging on listless. He harmonizes softly with himself, singing about human relationships mostly. But his lyrics are much more direct, and therefore comprehensible, than Pinback’s.

Instead of printed lyrics, which would have been cool, the inner sleeve has a photo of something that looks red and fuzzy with black stripes running through it. But I’m willing to forgive that because the tempos are nicely mixed so the album doesn’t get too bogged down in the middle, and limiting band members to three makes for a clean sound.

The title track and "The Falling Away" are the best songs. They just edge out "Ember", which is a tad too sappy but has really cool sounding bass noodling.

If you like this, listen to Pinback’s self-titled album.

-Jesse Christopherson

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Thursday, August 21, 2014 All Contents Copyright © 2014 Stinkweeds Music