Sweater Club - Five More Minutes
Release Date: August 8th, 2006
Record Label: Unsigned
It's believed to be common knowledge that specific attributes merit unrivalled acclaim, and despite any technicalities, I administer credit where credit is due. While truthfully few characteristics are sufficient enough to denote redemption, inferior odds accompany a cold shoulder from a necessitous audience. In the case of Corvallis, Oregon's self-proclaimed progressive rock, ska sextet, Sweater Club, a meager amount of investigation is required to detect that commendation is in order, and while only further analysis will determine it's longevity, the intervals at which it is bound to emerge are certainly diminutive. The group, who perform a solitary fusion of experimental rock bound with scattered drops of ska, jazz, and indie rock, unquestionably possess an authentic knack for distinct artistry, and while creativity may not solely secure a listener's satisfaction, it's indubitably a spot of comfort in a span of need.
With their second, independent offering, Five More Minutes, Sweater Club furthers their establishment in an overpopulated crowd. While in reality the album itself does little to capture a position of total liberty, and occasional blunders guarantee additional labor, no unfavourable statement, despite it's animosity, is sufficient enough to warrant the album's extinction. On the release's lead offering, aptly titled "Pt. 1," organic, imitative sound effects chaperone the group's audience into a primarily pastoral, progressive rock-oriented state, followed promptly by a savvy introduction from bassist Alec Kretchun. Further on, as the assemblies chief vocalist, Matt Jager, chimes in, overseers identify what is beyond question one of the act's capital qualities, and while the track's foundation leaves a expansion to be desired, considerable emancipation is only proper. On "Fallen Down," Sweater Club's secondary offering, the passel's horn ensemble, which consists of trumpeter Evan Churchill, trombonist Grant Thomas, and alto saxophonist David Stanley, assist a pleasant rhythm-driven, rock infrastructure fittingly, as Jager hurdles listeners face-first into a pre-eminent chorus faintly reminiscent of broadway theatrics. On "Hypocisty and Entropy," the album's third composition, Sweater Club's three, aforementioned brass experts utilize a dazzling, luminous horn arrangement, and while the aria itself is absorbing on first exposure, it is unhesitatingly evident that an abundance of the effort's polish can be credit to the group's three-piece facilitation team.
As the record progresses, showgoers may encounter what is arguably the club's most compelling work to date, or otherwise enforce the notion that adequate compensation is grudgingly inexecutable. While these judgements are, of course, merely a matter of opinion, I urge you to delve deeper for both for your sake and mine. On "Walk Away," the album's fifth design, an intricate array of sweeping bass notation and precise guitar work greets onlookers, as Jager croons "for the masses must be soothed, so we create another fake solution to replace the meaning that we crave." Lyrically speaking, the record's middle-ground finds the Corvallis sextet at the top of their game, as Jager and backup vocalist Alec Kretchun, who is often eerily recollective of Adam Lohrbach, formerly of Home Grown, discharge one dramatic report after another. On "The Realization is Devastating," a ska-tinged, rock number, the group's brass precinct laces honourable groundwork, courtesy of drummer Guy Cappiccie and the aforementioned Kretchun, marvelously, as Jager jostles his vocal capacity to it's greatest limits. On "Gods Are Fragile Things," the album's eighth exertion, a ska-centered canticle suggestive of the earliest material from one of the act's consequential influences, the Rx Bandits. Finally, Five More Minutes discontinues itself with "Pt.2," a commoving, anthemic extension upon the album's lead offering.
Yet, even with alluring instrumentation, graceful musicianship, and hearty craftsmanship all weighing heavily in favour of the Oregon-based outfit, one can't help but emphasize the group's crystal-clear, cogent flaws. While in reality these minor blemishes will have little to no effect on an established, adapted devotee, they certainly sway the mind of a critic like myself with the task of evaluation resting before them. The album's production, as a whole, often falls a considerable amount below par, and while the sextet's orchestration is no less than visibly illustrious, key allotments are often indistinguishable amongst the muddled layers. Furthermore, in truth, for musicians who have branded themselves with adventurous tendencies, Five More Minutes exposes very little in terms of fluctuation, and while repetition certainly isn't a sin, surely you'll agree that it isn't a characteristic one would entitle as overly beneficial.
Still, with all minor bruises and disfigurements aside, to exclusively discredit Sweater Club would be immoral. While Five More Minutes does plainly emphasize the young musicians' capacity for evolvement, it's also primarily successful at accentuating the band's divine attributes, and with the necessary amount of time, practice, devotion, and patience put forth, I see no reason as to why Sweater Club can't become the next subject of adoration of the village braggart. Five More Minutes is an intriguing transfusion of thought-provoking lyrics, heavenly songwriting, and ornate artistry, and to be guileless, you'd be a fool to disregard it's flourished imagination.
Different, but I dunno if I'd listen to it more then tonight.
Perhaps it will grow on the both of us? We'll have to wait and see. I can certainly see the band's strong points, and the skill is present, but I'm not sure as to what my personal feelings are quite yet.