Country-tinged orchestral pop occasionally turns prog rock on Proud Simon’s Night of Criminals. The five-piece centers around a guitar, bass, organ and drums mix that also incorporates various other instruments. Frontman Brian Keenan sings with a saccharine sweet voice on numbers that resemble The Weepies or Gin Blossoms (“Newspaper Boat”) while also sounding sophisticated enough for funk bass-lines and soaring guitar and organ.
The band veers toward different genres, as with its Southern jam rock “Everyone on the Train Could Use a Little Change”, the beginning of which sounds lifted from The Allman Brothers’ “Jessica”. The presence of a banjo on “Tar Washed Ashore” takes the piece to an Americana-drenched, surreal and dreamy place as flute and grainy guitar accompany a multi-part vocal harmonies that sound like a bubbling brook.
The album is divided into two sides, Act I and Act II, with liner note illustrations to resemble a medieval theatre production. “Tales as Tall” begins with strange vocal harmonies on a slowed-down bar-room medley as a passionate violin a la Devotchka cuts through the dirge-like soundscape. Grainy feedback becomes the same dwindling computer sound that introduces “Fitter, Happier” on Radiohead’s OK Computer. A truly mixed bag, Night of Criminals will sound even cooler after about five listens.
- Multiple songs MySpace
// Notes from the Road
"Marina's star shines bright and her iridescent pop shines brighter. Froot is her most solid album yet. Her tour continues into the new year throughout Europe.READ the article