[17 February 2008]
Amateur Radio Operator’s slack jawed alt-country sound is perfect for a lazy Sunday morning. Sirens of Titan, showcases this neo-Americana sound as Amateur Radio Operator trudges through one mildly morose tune after another. Mark Johnson’s high-pitched reverb-soaked vocals are slightly reminiscent of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James—his weary, love-struck lyrics reminding us just how woeful a country song can be. On selections like “No Como Los” the band uses crescendos and pedal steel to create broad musical scope which suggests the band may have more than a few tricks up their sleeve. However, not all the selections on Sirens of Titan live up to this initially powerful display. On other tracks Johnson’s country croon can sound just a bit lazy and the tunes slowly travel along a long narrow path—where it leads to I’m not exactly sure. Let’s hope these Amateur Operators can hone their skills and come up with some more quality release in the future.