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3 Is the Magic Number

(Equal Vision; US: 22 Aug 2006; UK: Available as import)

Emocore has lost another soul to the allure of indie rock.  Jason Gleason, ex-frontman for Further Seems Forever, has joined forces with old friends, Bella (keyboards) and Salvatore Ciaravino (bass) from New Jersey’s Element 101, and delivered a debut album of meditative, jangly-guitar and swirling-moog driven melancholia.  3 Is the Magic Number may be lighter fare than the dark side of post-hardcore but a moody sense of gloom still prevails on the majority of the cuts here.  Those songs which work best, particularly the opener “Sinner’s Algebra” and “Can You Hear the Sun”, relinquish some of this tortured reflection in favour of catchy guitar hooks, funky bass line and ‘60s style keyboards reminiscent of the alternative-rock bands coming out of Australia and New Zealand in the early 1980s.  Nevertheless, these all too brief moments of rock clarity are not enough to save the rest of the album from a plodding repetitiveness.  With similar structure and tempo, plus highly-polished, precision production replacing the edginess apparent in live recordings of their shows, one song begins to bleed into the other until ultimately your attention starts to wander in the direction of happier, sunnier times.

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