[17 January 2007]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
At a time when “indie rock” is becoming as trite and trite can be, give credit to Washington, DC’s Cedars for thinking on a grand scale. “When I hold my head up / It’s only to know I’m alive / This century,” frontman Brian Leatherman sings to start off Another Season. The music is big and bold as well, with layered guitars and synthesizers surging and drums punching and jibing. The rest of the songs on this sophomore EP follow suit, using lush atmospheres and Leatherman’s agreeably boyish voice, both of which garnered attention on 2004’s “Fleets” single, to try to find love and meaning in these most tense of times. “The Great Escape” may be a little too Coldplay for comfort, but Cedars’ strength is in introspective yet hopeful songs without the “we’re so sensitive” posturing. There are lots of delay pedals and strummed eighth notes here, while the subaquatic ballad “Song #7” suggests a range that might be explored further on a subsequent full-length. For now, Another Season suggests why Cedars may be the best unsigned band in America.