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
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
"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
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.
- Disintegration (Is The Best Album, Ever)
- Get It + Got It + Good
- Long Way From, Long Time Since
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