"Ebb and Flow" CDR
Genres: lo-fi, DIY pop, indie pop
1424 Almeria Ave.
Santa Maria, CA
Dec 22 - 28 2003
Teardrop's Ebb and Flow is a pop record so lo-fi that it
will actually terrify mainstream listeners. Not because it's
musically frightening, or because it's about monsters and mummies and
such - but because it's so dang left of centre. The
production values are low, and the melodies are very unconventional.
"Away From Potential," for
example, employs the use of both guitars and vocals, but lets the
high-pitched synthesizer play most of the melody anyway!
"Waking Life" is a fine pop ditty, but it's problem, as
is the case with many of Ebb and Flow's fourteen songs, is a
lack of an instantly memorable melody. When dealing with songs
of this degree of lo-fi-ness, pop hooks need to be present in large
quantities to keep the listener interested. Another example is
"Eastern Sands"; you gotta dig the Cornershop
"Brimful of Asha" riffage that characterizes the song's
beginning, but the unmelodic vocals cause the song to lose its catchy touch shortly thereafter.
Some of the best songs on this disc are the most inexplicable.
"Home" is a bit too long for its own good, at six minutes,
but it has a remarkably catchy melody to make up for it. The
organ / guitar chime combo of "Miller Street" is another
highlight; its unusual song structure is both inventive and undeniably
catchy, making it Ebb and Flow's best asset.
Overall, it's clear that Tin Teardrop needs to pare down the
number of songs for their next album; there's just too much filler
finding its way onto this disc. As well, they need to fix their
recording techniques, because on Ebb and Flow's louder
moments, the music tends to 'clip,' totally ruining the music's
mood and... ahem... flow. This becomes a bigger problem
later in the album, leading me to think it has something to do with
the band's CD burner. My words of wisdom to the band: Practice,
write, record, repeat.
[Vitals: 14 tracks, distributed by the
band, released 2003]