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Also

Music Belongs in the Background

(Self-released; US: 22 Feb 2011; UK: 22 Feb 2011)

Generic indie rock

Los Angeles-based Also suffer from a pretty lame band name (really, guys? The best you could come up with was “Also”?), but some of the songs on the band’s debut, Music Belongs in the Background, are at least somewhat memorable. A three-piece built around the trembling tenor of singer/guitarist Drew Conrad, Also serves up a familiar brand of low-key, sensitive-guy indie rock that’s heavy on Mark Zelen’s noodly bass lines, with a couple of slightly higher-energy tracks like “True” and “Mayfly” thrown in. Few songs stand out, although the album as a whole is fairly pleasant and Conrad has a knack for creating a hummable tune. Does all this sound lukewarm? Probably. There’s a reason for that. The band never really rises above mid-tempo proficiency to achieve anything more compelling. It’s fine, as my mom would say. It’s fine.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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