steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

True Vagrants

Self-titled CDR


Genre: alternative rock

March 2007

i'm looking at my notes and under riyl i've put "being annoyed". not a good sign. this record is beyond amateurish, perhaps one of the most irritating i've ever listened to. first off, the vocals are way too high in the mix. and that's not such a good thing when your vocals sound like this. as well, the music's melodies don't make themselves immediate with such an unbalanced production. there is some promise here, compositionally speaking, including some serviceable stop/start and quiet/loud dynamics. the dark, gothic lyrics steeped in religious overtones also occasionally approach compelling - when they don't plummet into snicker-worthy melodrama. still, the vocals poison the soup: the singer sounds as if he's just babbling profusely into a too-close mic. he tries to fit too many words into the songs, resulting in crowded lyrical lines. this isn't spoken word - there isn't enough room for all these words!!

a forty minute album rarely breeds this much antipathy for the band responsible. even the most promising track, "untold angsts," which starts off and concludes mercifully with a lot of instrumental guitar work, manages to embarrass itself with a vocal climax that must be heard to be believed.



coxwell balaban

[Vitals: 8 tracks, 37:37, distributed by the band, released 2006]