[5 January 2010]
Setting aside its Be Sharps-level, decreasingly clever band name aside, (Washington-state based) the Oregon Donor hopes the retro zeitgeist wheel lands on late ‘90s West Coast indie rock as its third full-length, A Pageant’s End is heavily indebted to that era’s kingpins, Built to Spill and Modest Mouse. Granted, front man/guitarist Christopher Rabbit isn’t quite in the rarefied air of Messrs. Martsch and Brock, but tunes like the staccato stompin’ “I.C.B.y.B.F.” and “What Good Hate Did” (garden-path title notwithstanding) show an understanding an appreciation of NW indie, while adding to the same’s legacy. Meanwhile, the poseur-baiting “Mimicry” transcends the obvious pot-kettle-black calls with Rabbit’s jazzy breakdown (a favored trick throughout the album), and “Older”‘s shaggy-dog solo hints the band has been listening to actual Oregon resident Stephen Malkmus’ work with the Jicks. A Pageant’s End sounds like more of a beginning.