How strange it must be to work with one of your heroes, especially when that hero is someone you repeatedly rip-off as your job. So is Evan Weiss’ conundrum. Playing bass here, with Mike Kinsella, famously of American Football and lately of Owen, on drums, Weiss, who has made his name as part of the ‘emo revival’ in Into It. Over It., largely determines the timbre of the songs by merit of acts of vocal imitation. On past releases he has copied Kinsella, Ben Gibbard, and others in tone and diction to an almost absurd degree, and here he blends those comparisons with Davey von Bohlen to an effect of ‘Haven’t I heard that before?’ that never entirely lets up. Thankfully, the rest of the music around him is bombastic and spastic, powered by Matthew Frank’s furious guitar tapping and Kinsella’s furious drum fills. Weiss proves a tasteful bass player, churning where necessary, or pulling back for massive wallops of sound, as on highlight “Travelers Insurance”. He and Kinsella form a killer rhythm section. If only Weiss didn’t recall an idealized ‘then’ so much as his awesome now.
// Notes from the Road
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