Genres: alt. country, pop, indie rock
Apr 7 - 13 2003
Belt Music play a sort of pop-based alt. country hybrid that is at
once epic and catchy. Deborah, their debut, is a nice album,
that is not without its problems. It's obvious the band will
need to change a few things for their next full-length, but that
doesn't mean Deborah can't be enjoyed in the meantime.
The songs on Deborah have nice melodies, but some are more
atmosphere-oriented than they are catchy. This, of course, means
that the songs have really good feels to them - they are very warm, yet
still calmly melancholic. On the irritating side, the vocals
aren't recorded properly, often too quiet in comparison to the songs' other instruments. As well, the album seems a bit longer than it
needs to be, dragging a bit at parts.
"Beer Can on the Side of the Road" is a good example of Rust
Belt Music's sound. A laidback, catchy number, it boasts a
nice Meat Puppets-esque organ part, as well as the band's
bizarrely minimal vocals. The "Love in the..."
trilogy, meanwhile, sees the band at their best; it's an epic track
that makes great use of a really pleasant piano part. "M
Tagged J" is also a winner, with a very dark, moody
atmosphere. On the downside, finale "Bedford Fell"
lacks any fantastic melodies, sounding like a less edgy Radiohead
except more painfully dreary.
To improve, the band may want to fix their recording style,
especially in regards to their vocals. As well, it would be best
if they pared down some of the less fantastic tracks on their next
album, concentrating the good bits that they have proven themselves
capable of producing. The "Love in the..." trilogy
would work better as a finale than "Bedford Fell."
All in all, this is a nice album that has its problems but is still
a perfectly good pop diversion for alt. country enthusiasts, as well
as those just looking to put a bit more melancholy in their diet.
13 songs, distributed by CD
Baby, released 2002]