"The End of the New Country" CD
Genre: indie pop, folk
Sep 29 2008
Using teamwork and the Internet, the Beatings' Tony Skalicky
and Strikes Again! drummer Mike Ingenthron have pieced
together a pretty awesome song album. They share singing and
songwriting duties. They're proud of their writing process - check
their blog for B-sides and outtakes and stuff - and their album is
polished and crafty. Its instrumental sound is consistent, full of
guitars and reverb and a few sound effects, and though it's somewhat
constrained by the lack of a drummer they work overtime on their
Garageband and Pro Tools beats to compensate.
But Get Help actually sounds like two distinct bands. Mike
and Tony's individual lyrical and vocal leanings make for radically
different songs. Tony is wry and oblique; Mike plays it earnest. So
there's something for everyone! Unless you hate reverb. Then you're
shit out of luck. Tony bellows many of his songs in a deep, dark voice
like the guy from The National, except with slightly less
conviction, which isn't a bad thing. With the notable exceptions of
the arresting "Fall-in-Love-to Song" (radios play 'em at inopportune
times) and fist-pumping closer "Growing Circles" (dig that error
message sample!), he's cool and detached. This makes Mike's sweet act
stand out, which is nice because Mike's lyrics are generally great.
His tentative call to arms about the military and 'missing man
formation' is a winner. So is his only semi-downer, the jarringly
hypnotic breakup song, "All Else Fails." It's decidedly unspiteful.
"Resistance to perspective keeps me safe from understanding/It's
crucial to my planning/What we can do without," over dissonant strings
and a jittery mid-tempo rhythm. Killer. Since these guys are big-s
Songwriters, every song is put together with great care, and the
result is charming and totally replayable. Sweet!
[Vitals: 15 tracks, distributed by
released October 14 2008]