The New Year: Newness Ends

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By Mike Pace

Debutantes of the dustbowl, the New Year emerge from the ashes of the state of Texas and the band once known as Bedhead to create a debut with the all of the songwriting craft and precision of the latter band and the grandiosity of the former state. Whereas Bedhead worked their songs around a growing tension that never quite exploded, the New Year rock from the get-go.

Songs like “Gasoline”, “The Block That Doesn’t Exist” and the title track in particular, are louder than anything the Kadane brothers dabbled in with previous projects, and in no way does the loudness of the music deter any of the infectious melodies from invading the soundscape. For their volume, the New Year’s songs are as delicate and fragile as any of Bedhead’s; when the amps are turned down on songs like “One Plus One Minus One Equals One” and “Simple Life” the sound is like china on the verge on shattering. Frail and brittle yes, but definitely not “emo”.

The New Year make contemporary American music, appropriately listened to in wooded settings or by men who wear beards. Modern-day Americana that deserves appreciation from as many as possible.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/newyear-newness/