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Thinking Aloud
Remote Control Mind
Low-Rent Records
www.low-rentrecords.com


Sounding like an amalgamation of The Pixies and The Sex Pistols with a smattering of Jawbreaker, Thinking Aloud takes a decent but accessible punk and makes it harmonally pleasing, offering good vibes with energy and very memorable hooks. Clearly here we have a good contender for my top ten of the year as this band rocks out with purpose and well accented changes across the entire album.

As simple as the guitar parts are, they push the album to a new level by being constant in their drive; in "Block Punt" the first guitar just maintains momentum as the second guitar comes and goes at well placed intervals keeping everything interesting. The drums take punk rhythms and support the material without becoming annoying, and the bass does its thing revolving around the drums and guitars. The vocals have that edge necessary to carry and add to the songs with sung and screeched variations that work nicely.

Production is apt but doesn't help the band enough; all the energy present is from the band and very little is contributed by the recording. Guitars, including bass, could be processed differently to over-emphasize their beautiful breaks and changes. Drums could have been crisper, yet appear uneven as the record progresses. Now production doesn't break this album by any stretch of the imagination, I would have just preferred all the weight to not be on the bands' shoulders alone.

The true beauty of the album is the material which maintains a specific pace but provides enough difference to make every song individual and good. Changes are executed exquisitely as they double up within songs - not limiting the good hooks to main lines. All songs deserve equal consideration and radio play, but I would specifically recommend "So What" and "Hit me" as ones that I kept returning to.

I eagerly anticipate listening to more from Thinking Aloud, and you should find them now so you can share in the joy.

-bishop

Track listing:

1) 89
2) So What
3) Block Punt
4) Detrenol
5) Hit Me
6) Mood Swings
7) Stop
8) In the Moment
9) While You Were Sleeping
10) Funny Is It?
11) World is a Wreck


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Mike Doughty



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