Fueled By Ramen
Soft and delicate guitars and vocal lines start off this self titled released from Fueled By Ramen’s Slow Reader. The tune is very somber and longing, and it features a half stomp, half clap beat, similar to beats on Morrissey’s wonderful Viva Hate album (these guys must love Morrissey, but who doesn’t?). The chorus is made of up almost angelic sounding “OOOOHHHH’S” and “AHHHH’S;” the fact that these guys voices sound so clear and pristine speaks volumes as to how well these guys can actually sing; I appreciate this thoroughly, as many in the indie rock community try to pull of similar sounding music, although they have no real vocal talent (see Tim Kinsella, formerly of Joan Of Arc, etc).
“Stupid Bet” finds Slow Reader sounding similar to Portishead, with a lazy, enormous sounding, slow tempo drum beat. Some really cool backwards tape loops wander around, and the boys’ vocals are kind of obscured on this song by a lovely, minor chorded organ melody, reminiscent of The Cardigans’ work on the highly subdued Gran Turismo.
I know that the indie rock community will throw comparisons to Death Cab For Cutie at these guys mercilessly, but I don’t feel that that’s fair to Slow Reader. I really believe that the songs on Slow Reader about a trillion times better than anything I ever heard from these guys previous work in The Impossibles; I actually believe how pathetic and sad these guys sound on this record, and let me tell you that 95% of the time, it is fairly easy for even the moderate music connoisseur to see right through “emotional” indie rock types (i.e. Belle & Sebastian, etc). These guys have found a style of music that works well for them, and I highly recommend this record to fans of depressing music in general, and soft indie rock. (As a side note, it could be noted that Slow Reader plays the kind of music that Dashboard Confessional strives to, yet falls short of; Slow Reader is Dashboard Confessional, without the latent desire to kick someone’s ass that lies behind Chris Carrabba’s evil “football player in indie rocker’s wool” eyes).
Slow Reader: http://www.slowreader.net