Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Philly's best

We're Already There(Don't) stop me if you think you've heard this one before: You have to buy We're Already There (US, UK) from Mazarin. I prefer to write about underappreciated bands and artists, but I must join the chorus of praise for the not-so-underappreciated Philadelphia band's third album. Its joyous pop shimmers, snaps, crackles and pops, hooks you when you least expect it and rides trance-like grooves when you're expecting a hook. Lots of dreamy reverb and noisy melodicism on songs like "I'm With You And Constellations" recall early-90s shoegazers (yeah, I hate that word too, but it's convenient) Ride and My Bloody Valentine. Elsewhere, on songs like "Another One Goes By," Mazarin serves up well-built radio-friendly new wave. "We're Already There" visits the murky psychedelia of Olivia Tremor Control and other E6 acts like Elf Power. I like this album best when it keeps things simple, though. "The New American Apathy," "For Energy Infinite" and "NE Winter," with their insistent beats--both man and machine-made--and uncomplicated chord progressions are clear-eyed bids at power pop greatness.

NE Winter (mp3) - Mazarin

Stream more of the album on the band's Web site.

Suddenly it seems like all kinds of cool music is coming out of Philly. On Monday I mentioned Espers and The Baird Sisters and not too long ago The Capitol Years and The A-Sides. It wasn't always that way. In the 90s, the only band (other than my cousin's various hardcore outfits) from Philadelphia I remember listening to was The Lilys--and they tended to move around. Now don't get your hackles up, Philly residents, I'm sure you've always had a scene. But it wasn't that well-known outside the city limits until recently.

AudibleAnother noteworthy newish Philadelphia name is Audible, a band that was run as a sideline by several members of Matt Pond PA for a couple years before they decided to make a full-time go of it. Audible has actually opened for Mazarin and Mazarin's drummer Sean Byrne played on Audible's debut LP Sky Signal (US, UK), which was recorded in Brian McTear's (also of Mazarin fame) Miner Street Studios. As with all indie rock scenes, this one is incestuous.

Sound Makes A Circle (mp3) - Audible

Sunday Bell (mp3) - Audible

Stay Warm (mp3) - Audible


Anonymous Anonymous said...

philly is even more incestuous than you may think. mike and chris from audible played drums and guitar in a recent mazarin live lineup.

7:46 PM  

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