Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The New Albanian Riots - The Cream Of Starsdotdot
artworkAfter the great artwork, this falls really short. There seems to be no relationship between what the artwork would lead you to expect, and what the CD sounds like. This is mostly jangle-pop instro rock, waiting for leads or vocals, and in need of more thought. It's not that the melodies don't work, or that they can't play. It's just not interesting, and within the songs, there is little textural change, which aggravates the problem. I've picked a few tracks that are pleasant listening, but I found this to be mostly unmemorable. I'm sure the band will hate me for this, but it just did not hold my attention at all.
Picks: Walk In Shadow, Teenage Conflict, Bon Repos, Space Signal Watch, A Twilight Affair, Bright Green, Blues On My Mind, The Web, Cheerful, Mt. Harissa, B-31, Mine, Never To Return

Track by Track Review

Walk In Shadow dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

A nearly jangle pop rhythm track supports an acoustic chamber echoed lead guitar. The unusual blend of eighties pop structures and surfy guitar is quite refreshing. This is a fine track, melodic enough to carry interest, and well structured. It's not surfy exactly, though it sports enough of the feel to fit in. Very enjoyable.

Teenage Conflict dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

This is a nicely written instro, with a well crafted delivery. It's progression based, but not so much so that it doesn't work.

Bon Repos dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

Almost Three Suns-like in sound, though certainly more energetic. This is a spooky and warm track that blends a bunch of elements not usually associated with rock instros. Nice work.

Space Signal Watch dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

This seems to be mostly a chunky rhythm progression waiting for a melody or a vocal. It's not very interesting, and certainly does not hold the attention.

A Twilight Affair dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

A slower more delicate instro, with an almost Endless Summer feel to it, though certainly filtered through the jangle. Smooth, but not as romantic as one might expect from the title.

Bright Green dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

This is a smooth and friendly track. It flows well, and is pleasing to listen to. It does suffer from a sameness throughout, an unvaried textural weave that doesn't allow for sustained entertainment. Nice, but unremarkable.

Blues On My Mind dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

A fifties blues boogie riff, nothing special, but a pleasant derivative ride through bygone days.

The Web dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

Horror flick themology, melodic sorta spy-like, interesting, but undynamic. From The Brain That Wouldn't Die.

Cheerful dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

Like the title says, mindless flippant existence is mirrored here, though not infectiously. It hints at the lightheartedness, but does not deliver the feeling.

Mt. Harissa dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

A nice, nearly mean and almost spaghetti melody delivered with too little variation. From The Far East Suite.

B-31 dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

This is a light, almost frothy track. It is semi acoustic sounding, and is quite nice. It could be a backtrack to your tea party, but not the main focus. Pretty, but unremarkable.

Mine dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

Like a high school music project, acoustic chords, delicate playing, and a progression based melody. Nice, but disinteresting. From Let 'Em Eat Cake.

Never To Return dotdotdot
Jangle (Instrumental)

Country frolic and slight fun, seemingly waiting for a lead. It's OK, but does not stand out.