steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Binary Dolls

"Too Much Thinking Sinks Ships" CD

Perilymph Records

Genre: indie rock

April 2006

Dark, suspicious pop is the name of the game for Binary Dolls, an intriguing threepiece out of Portland, Oregon. They claim to sound something like a cross between Interpol and Radiohead which is probably an apt comparison, though their use of keyboards lends them a distinct sort of noir-esque feel. The whole record has a sense of momentum and urgency behind it, as well as a distinct intellectualism - the lyrics are verbose and rich in figurative language. "I am the only master of the ten key" (you gotta love that confidence) is the album's first and most immediately noteworthy performance; its chilling atmosphere and infectious melody will earn it a place in your head quite quickly. The melodic and moving "I Used to be a Man of Indecision" also caught my ear - if any thing's gonna be a "pop single" from this disc, it's this... heck, I wouldn't be surprised if they reviewed this track on Pitchfork. Also worthy of mention are the dire keyboard strokes of "Double Barrel" and the emotional falsettos on "Sheep's Blood". Occasionally the band's formula becomes a bit long-winded (the songs aren't short, and the sound can be a bit homogeneous), but the album's playability seems to be pretty high regardless. Too Much Thinking is a very strong independent release, and is worth taking a serious look at.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by CD Baby, released 2005]