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The Impossibles
4 Song Brick Bomb
Fueled By Ramen


The fourth release from Austinís The Impossibles finds them treading new ground and forging ahead into a bright, new future. In varying forms, this band has been around since 1994, but fans of their early work will find The Impossibles have come a long way. 4 Song Brick Bomb, their first recording of the new millennium, packs more into its eleven minutes than many records accomplish in 45. Each track seems to reveal a different side of the band and to showcase a different strength.

The recordís brief-yet-blissful duration includes moments of poppy sweetness, punky bravado, reflective musings, and emotional outpourings. As a whole, the EP could be pigeonholed as emo, and perhaps it is, but only in the way that all pop music is, at its heart, emo. Emotional content, driving guitars, sincerity for miles.

Gabe Hascall and Rory Phillips share vocal and guitar duties. Craig Tweedy provides a basic-but-effective bass accompaniment, while drummer Pat Elliottís unique and creative percussive presence listens and responds to Phillipsís and Hascallís dueling guitars with remarkable poignancy. The songs are mostly written by Phillips and all are gems for different reasons.

"Disintegration (Is The Best Album, Ever)" is, of course, the most brilliantly titled track on the EP, and its lyrical content is appropriate to the album it pretends to revere. The music, however, has a jaunty Ď60s pop feel with a slight emo edge, and a positively infectious melody. The quarter-note snare triplets with which Elliott (no longer a member of the band) drives the chorus, creates a tense and potent atmosphere. Vocal and guitar harmonies may remind the listener of the hardest rockiní side of Sloan or the poppiest side of Husker Dü.

Turning to their harder roots, The Impossibles crank up the energy for "Get It + Got It + Good", a dead ringer for Fugaziís "Burning Too". In fact, if not for Fugaziís fear of pop, this track could easily have fit into the bandís late Ď80s output. On the other hand, you have to hand it to The Impossibles for pulling this trick off with such genuine conviction and skill. Though it is certainly derivative, "Get It" is strong enough to stand up on its own hardcore merits.

"Oxygen" suddenly turns the record down a poppier path, and one canít help thinking that the jarring shift is intentional. This track includes some of the recordís best musical and lyrical moments, and, on its own, is an excellent example of the breadth of style and skill spanned by The Impossibles. At first, the tune is a hum-along-and-sway sweet, but it evolves (or devolves) into a screaming, anthemic crescendo. Here, the Sloan and Fugazi influences are reconciled in a brilliant and memorable tune that manages to seem expansive, despite its length of less than three minutes.

The final track, "Long Way From, Long Time Since", is an open letter from a son to his father. While the lyrics are moving in their own right, the chills youíre feeling come from the absolutely gorgeous interplay of Phillipsís and Hascallís guitars, which sound like birds on a wire serenading each other.

If 4 Song Brick Bomb is an indication of the direction in which The Impossibles intend to evolve, weíre in for some very good music from these Texans. The remaining vestiges of their pop-punk roots (early influences included Green Day (pre-Dookie, of course) and Operation Ivy) appear to persist only because they are so ingrained. As they continue to explore their poppier side, expect this band to develop into a hard-rockin' version of the Push Kings or the Pixies for a new generation. Meanwhile, pick up a copy of this action-packed EP (a bargain at six bucks!) and let your ears taste the future.

-Eryc Eyl

Track Listing:

  1. Disintegration (Is The Best Album, Ever)
  2. Get It + Got It + Good
  3. Oxygen
  4. Long Way From, Long Time Since

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Mike Doughty



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