AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
The World Record - Freeway Special Album Cover

The World Record - Freeway Special

Reviewed by
8.3
The World Record - Freeway Special
Record Label: Squid vs. Whale
Release Date: Oct. 9, 2012
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
When you name your band The World Record, you are more or less compelled to translate that sound into something successful. And if their sophomore LP is any indication, the Los Angeles band is indeed on the precipice of something truly extraordinary. Though the album is exhaustively long (18 songs), there are quite a few gems tucked away here.

Foremost of those gems is the title track and album opener, which features sun-splashed horns, Andy Creighton's honeyed vocals and a wistful easy sentiment that calls to mind Big Star. and Fountains of Wayne. While the horns take a backseat on most of the material, Creighton's amiable vocals and that sense of wistful melancholia return time and again. For starters, there's the plaintive "Be Nice," the yearning "I Met the Girl (I'm Gonna Leave You For," and the lilting "Black Canyon Range." Further, the jangly "She's Not a Liar," teems with shades of Nada Surf, while "Marsha," seems culled from Wilco circa Being There.

While Freeway Special is indeed a rock effort, it's the quieter moments that make the biggest impact. The weary "Say Sayonara," the rootsy "A Little More Time," and the near-perfect "Candy," reveal an immediacy and depth that are unlike few others. Truth be told, even the mid-tempo moments are worth remembering. Whether its the reaching "Stopping Somewhere," or the jocular "Call the Doctor," there's something profound and moving in these songs.

All this praise for the more subdued moments raises the question, why is it the rock songs fall short? Truth be told, it's actually quite hard to say. Perhaps the problem is the length. Eighteen songs is a lot to digest and even though three are no longer than a minute, and five are less than three, it's still far more music than one should expect to consume in a digital age where singles and brevity are the status quo. That being written, "Queen of Side I," "In The Supermarket," and "We're #1 (Remix)," all feel a bit forced, almost as if the band is trying too hard. On the more ruminative offerings there's a sense of comfort and control that is almost too good to be true.

But in the end, the duration remains the only complaint with Freeway Special. Vocalist Creighton has a vocal timbre that is easily digestible and even harder to dislike. Backed by an air-tight rhythm section and seasoned session players, the disc is definitely a bellwether in the California roots-rock scene. It honestly doesn't get much better than this.

Recommended If You Like Fountains of Wayne, Wilco circa Being There, Big Star, The Low Stars, Gigolo Aunts, Nada Surf, Five Easy Pieces


Find Them Here http://www.theworldrecord.net
 
Displaying posts 1 - 4 of 4
01:38 AM on 10/10/12
#2
puddy tat
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
The negative comments on the fact that there are a dozen and a half songs (Halp! It's too much music for my widdle head!) while acknowledging that most are short pieces does more to neutralize the reviewer's opinions than any of his observations of the actual content. Rigid expectations aside, Gregory seems to be informed by a narrow swath of alternative music, which he employs to define the record. Evidently, mentioning any parallels to Tom Petty would not be sufficiently "indie" enough.
The '70s throwback nostalgia does not begin and end with Big Star. The title track has a quirky "Spirit in the Sky" vibe, and "Stopping Somewhere" veers profoundly into 10CC territory near the end. "Call the Doctor" is dark, ironic, and the irresistible fat bottom end cuts like a spork through lumpy gravy. But "jocular"? Pull out the thesaurus and try again.
The real shortcoming here is no mention of the exceptionally clever, and at times poignant, lyrics. Wordplay is rampant, and to neglect this is akin to reviewing a Pat Metheny record without discussing the guitar.
One of the record's most infectious songs, "Cats on the Roof", is glaringly absent from the review. (It does clock in at nearly 6 minutes, so perhaps Greg's ADHD set in by the bridge.) A brilliant composition anchored by a great riff with a psychedelic detour of cosmic proportions.

Play this record twice, back-to-back, and extend the bliss.

--
03:21 PM on 10/10/12
#3
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
Offline
User Info.
Gregory Robson's Avatar
The negative comments on the fact that there are a dozen and a half songs (Halp! It's too much music for my widdle head!) while acknowledging that most are short pieces does more to neutralize the reviewer's opinions than any of his observations of the actual content. Rigid expectations aside, Gregory seems to be informed by a narrow swath of alternative music, which he employs to define the record. Evidently, mentioning any parallels to Tom Petty would not be sufficiently "indie" enough.
The '70s throwback nostalgia does not begin and end with Big Star. The title track has a quirky "Spirit in the Sky" vibe, and "Stopping Somewhere" veers profoundly into 10CC territory near the end. "Call the Doctor" is dark, ironic, and the irresistible fat bottom end cuts like a spork through lumpy gravy. But "jocular"? Pull out the thesaurus and try again.
The real shortcoming here is no mention of the exceptionally clever, and at times poignant, lyrics. Wordplay is rampant, and to neglect this is akin to reviewing a Pat Metheny record without discussing the guitar.
One of the record's most infectious songs, "Cats on the Roof", is glaringly absent from the review. (It does clock in at nearly 6 minutes, so perhaps Greg's ADHD set in by the bridge.) A brilliant composition anchored by a great riff with a psychedelic detour of cosmic proportions.

Play this record twice, back-to-back, and extend the bliss.

--
I suppose there's a good chunk of Petty on here, but he wasn't the artist that immediately jumped out at me when listening.

I'm going to admit that I may have mislabeled "Call the Doctor," but one person's irony is another person's comedy, so let's leave that open for interpretation.

"Cats on the Roof," was meant to be included here. The version on my desktop has it, but why it never made it into this version is leaving me baffled. I regret that. However, that psychedelic detour you speak of is really the only winning part of the song. But we can agree to disagree on that.

In closing, I will say, that this is indeed a charming lyrical album and I am remiss that I did not mention Creighton and Co's clever wordplay. They certainly deserve kudos for that.

Thanks for commenting. I'm glad somebody else enjoys the record. I never once bashed it, aside from the length, so I'm not sure why you felt the need to be so wanton and aggressive in your remarks. But again, at least somebody took the time to read it and comment. For that I am grateful.
02:33 PM on 10/16/12
#4
puddy tat
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
[Thanks for commenting. I'm glad somebody else enjoys the record. I never once bashed it, aside from the length, so I'm not sure why you felt the need to be so wanton and aggressive in your remarks. But again, at least somebody took the time to read it and comment. For that I am grateful.]

Puddy Tat's claws are sometimes over-zealous in their take-no-prisoners approach on the keyboard. I appreciate your thoughtful response. Let me just say that I never once bashed you, except for the thesaurus jab. And the ADHD swipe. And the "narrow swath of alternative music" criticism. In closing, I recommend that you check out the vinyl LP, which contains a grand total of 23 songs, all delivered with the same panache and grit of the CD's 18 tracks. Keep up the good work!

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate