This review is all about balance. How I wanted to balance the magic moments with the bla moments. I was never annoyed or tortured, but it did take me a long time to get into it. Well over a month to finish it, which was a shame given the quality of the last song.
My initial impression was that the musicians are talented, but the songs just aren’t my cup of tea. Their songs are heavily indie-influenced. Not the tasteless drumming that I usually associate with indie bands, but there is a ton of instruments that get experimented with.
It feels like they had unlimited studio time to record, and they didn’t have a produce to reign them in and keep them focused.
And the vocals. There are two members who share vocal duties. Craig the drummer also does plenty of lead vocals, and Matt who plays guitar and does lead vocals too. Craig has a good voice. Pretty standard. Especially when compared to Matt. There is no way to adequately describe Matt’s intense voice. Pure punk gold!
There are a few songs where Matt and Craig strike the perfect balance. Taking turns, and harmonizing together. The best example of this is the song All Prophets In Their House. I can honestly say that it is one of the best songs written by any San Diego band. It is the kind of song that can make a band. I could see it winning a Grammy.
And that is where the balancing act comes in. This CD has it’s fair share of songs that don’t do anything for me. But how do they compare with finding a new favorite song? I decided to give the album an 8.
A lot of the songs are too long. This is a common mistake for a first album. But there is a maturity there that cannot be taught. There is a brave sense of experimentation.
I hope that they learn how to reign it in on the next album. Perhaps the objective ear of an experienced producer can help. Although a lot of bands learn how to regulate themselves by their second album. I honestly think that if they spend enough time, and keep it focused enough, this Honest Iago can create a modern day Joshua Tree. You can hear the talent in this album. I am excited to follow these guys, and see how their song writing matures.
I have no problem recommending this album. Especially if you like indie music. I found it available on iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/straight-on-til-morning/id332429264
If you just want to get a couple songs to check it out, I recommend Pembroken and All Prophets…
A video for All Prophets was released last week. It gives me the rare chance to put my money where my mouth is, and back up my opinions with some audio. So take a listen and see if I am full of bull or not.