steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Cincinnati Reds U.K.

"You Take the High Art & I'll Take the Low Art" CDR

Tokyo Rose Records

Genres: indie rock, DIY rock, indie pop

Tokyo Rose
4222 Chambers
Cincinnati, OH

May 17 - 23 2004

Tokyo Rose Records has done it again.  They've put naked people on the cover of another one of their releases.  You Take the High Art & I'll Take the Low Art is the latest chapter in the nudity trend.  But this time, apparently in response to Fudgie & Fufu's exciting genitalfest, The Biography of Libby A. Miller, they've done a girls-only release.  So, if you've got an acute fear of the female form, you'll want to stay away from this.  If, on the other hand, you're interested in hearing some solid, home-cooked indie rock from a bunch of Cincinnati gals, this release could make for a fine venture.

The key to The Cincinnati Reds U.K.'s formula is simple - deep in everyone's heart lies a passion for no-holds-barred indie rock music.  Although their tuning is fa-a-a-ar from perfect, and their compositions aren't the most varied and melodically excellent ones out there, you'll find some real gems among You Take the High Art's twenty songs.  The band's most successful moments, like "But..." and the cover of Calvin Johnson's "Nothing to Hold Us Here," see them playing more acoustic, folk-influenced pop - high in melodic content and low in aggressive raunchiness.  Some of the "harder" tracks are also enjoyable - like the synthy "Duex" - though the band seems to have a higher success rate when working with a more folk-like approach ("Watch," "Also") than with a more abrasive attitude (the boring electro-rock of "Tea," the hardcore gimmickry of "Normal.")

I would love to listen to a full album of The Cincinnati Reds U.K.'s mellower material, as that seems to be the best part of You Take the High Art & I'll Take the Low Art.  But as it is, this disc remains a fine artifact of melodic, female-fronted indie rock - and is recommended to those who covet such things.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 20 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]