steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

American Watercolor Movement

"It Takes Fifteen To Tango In My Book, What Book Do You Read?" CD


Genre: experimental rock

March 2007

There's a lot going on in American Watercolor Movement's music. They're a very theatrical band featuring members of Flaming Fire, another dramatic band I reviewed awhile ago. Their layered, experimental style makes for an interesting record which breaks a lot of norms for rock music. I dig it, for sure, but I'm not sure how many times I'd listen to it back-to-back. That's the line you draw with really offbeat records such as this.

Where to begin? The first track, "It Takes Fifteen To Tango In My Book," is a definite highlight. It features a slow build to a powerful climax that is surprisingly catchy despite a lack of obvious melody. Though a bit drama school, it is a fitting and explosive opening to a unique record. Meanwhile, "Flowers For Catalan" also kicks some major ass with its passionate, blizzardy climax, and the keyboard-drenched "That Haven" makes for a strong mid-album number. Rhythm plays a key component on this record, as AWM base most of their songs on strong beats as opposed to intricate melodies ("Sweet Thursday," "Monkey Lady"). They also tend to get eighties style synthy on tracks like "The Glory" and vagely U2-ish (!!) "She Danced Like a Demon." This isn't a problem, but may wear on the record's ability to stand up to repeated listens - though I'd love to see them live. Overall, anyhow, It Takes Fifteen is a fun and exciting work of music, and is worthy of any adventurous ear.

the american watercolor movement diespace


youuuutube!: american watercolor movement live

Matt Shimmer

[vitals: 14 tracks, 51:24, distributed by the band, released oct 3, 2006]