Music Reviews

Jon Todd

Vanishing Points

Magic Eye Singles

Wow, the long awaited debut album from Jon Todd is finally… still in waiting, unfortunately, due to the Cargo situation… However, I am so lucky to have received a copy in advance! This trio from Jacksonville, FL has been on a non-stop rampage through the indie world here on the east coast since the Summer of 1997. During one of their many stops through New York City, they made time to do a session with Martin Bisi to record Vanishing Points . Jon Todd is easily comparable to Pell Mell and Paul Newman, but only for their lack of vocals. Chris Stow definitely has a more unique expression with his guitar. Overdubs, tape loops and accompanying leads are added to various songs, but not in any way that would take away from their true live sound. In fact, I think their live sound is sometimes more intense!

When listening to “instrumental” bands play, I have always wanted to hear every instrument be given its moment, similar to the way jazz musicians perform on stage. Jon Todd fits this description well, and I can’t think of a better example then Damian Lee’s drumming. This is where I would say they are closest to Pell Mell. They know not to just ride out one riff. And for instrumental bands, this is important. At times, you could actually here a melody created by the drums, then the guitar might begin to sing to you, and before you know it, the bass has just swept you off your feet for the most rocked out ride of your life!

Like most other recordings I have heard by Martin Bisi, Vanishing Points is a great work of recorded art. Many songs blend into each other, giving you the feel that the album is what is meant to be listened to, not just one song. They use different “situations” to make these transitions, such as conversations and glass breaking. It is done in such a way that the “situations” are listened to as instruments used in creating the album.

Jon Todd’s Vanishing Points is worth checking out for most people into the indie rock/emo sounds. I find myself going from this recording to something by Fugazi, if that helps you understand where they might fit in. Hopefully this should be out soon! If anything, contact the label.

Magic Eye Singles, P.O. Box 603033, Providence, RI 02906


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