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Central Services

Central Services

(US: 13 Mar 2007; UK: Available as import)

The best thing about Central Services’ self-titled debut is its production.  The sound of the record hearkens back to ‘70s guitar pop, with a warm, organic production and fuzzy guitars.  It is a welcome nuance to a record that, without that distinction, toes the line between recognizable melody and generic power-pop.  “4 Letter Word” is the best rocker on the album, providing bouncy guitars and the most distinctive, stick-in-your-head hooks.  “Fun (While It Lasted)” is a solid acoustic number.  Backed by shuffling drums, the song seems the best fit for singer Jeff Blancato’s vocals.  At times, his voice is a fitting pop croon, while on other tracks he sounds too pristine to be believable.  Central Services is bound, inevitably, to find their niche soundtracking some WB sitcom—which isn’t to say their record is bad, maybe just overly simple.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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