steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

At Dusk

"The Summer of Promises Kept" CD

Popping Open Music

Genres: indie rock, indie pop

email the band

Jan 19 - 25 2004

The Summer of Promises Kept is such an average indie rock album it can't be believed.  It's got the token guitar, the vocals, the bass, and the drums - as well as contributions from cello, glockenspiel, keyboard, and all the rest.  It's got the 'hard' songs and the 'soft' songs.  It's got the moments of rambunctious energy and the moments of self-concerned introspection.  It's almost cute how familiar At Dusk sounds, and depending on your frame of reference, it could be a good thing or a bad thing.

The major problem with this album, other than its lack of creativity or innovation, is its lack of melody.  Though the songs aren't atonal or discordant or anything, they don't catch the listener either - their hooks rarely work and even the choruses don't offer any real infectiousness.  A song like "What May Have Been The Sun" is a good example; it sounds like it could be catchy, but it isn't.  It seems afraid to stray from a limited range of notes.  "Sports," similarly, goes for an almost emo-flavoured approach, but is again held back by the lack of catchy hooks; though the glockenspiel adds a touch of sensitivity, it still leaves the listener wanting something more... filling.

I don't know what to say.  The Summer of Promises Kept should be much catchier than it is.  At Dusk needs to get much more comfortable with their songwriting, as at this point it just sounds as if they're trying to remain as non-descript as possible.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 14 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2003]