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Pretendo

II

(54º 40' or Fight!; US: 4 Mar 2008; UK: Available as import)

The thing that hurts so much about Pretendo’s II is that there’s just so much about it to like. “My Architect” is spy movie rock ‘n roll; “06/06/06” is Queens of the Stone Age-ish stoner rock; and “A Smoking Pipe to Dance” is like Modest Mouse dance-rock with The Godfather‘s theme appended to the front and back for good measure. The problem is that the myriad influences and experiences that Pretendo brings to the project never really mesh. II is musical potpourri, a pleasant little side dish to be taken in between servings of something more substantial. It’s very well produced, the guitars attack just the way they should, the generally unspectacular vocals are pushed back, and the songs have as much punch as you could expect, but the songs generally don’t have enough individual impact to be truly memorable. Taken as a whole, the songs cancel each other out, one track erasing the memory of another. You could listen to II three times in a row and still have only the vaguest recollection of what you just heard. This doesn’t make it bad, necessarily, but it does make II basically inconsequential.

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Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.


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