Occasionally an album comes along that really doesn't need
to be any longer than one song. If this record by the Obsoletes
consisted of only "Empty Sidewalk", it would still
be one of the best albums of the year. But fortunately, we've
been given twelve additional songs to delight our aural sensibilities.
Talk about fortune!
From the brilliant opening guitar riff of "Empty Sidewalk"
to the trashy noise of the "hidden track" that closes
Is This Progress?, The Obsoletes take the ear and drag
it along an alt-country joyride. As I said, "Empty Sidewalk"
alone is worth the price of admission, with its three minutes
of pure pop-buried-under-blistering-semi-country-guitar- licks
kind of sound happening. The band invokes the spirit of Wilco
on "Wish It Never Came" and lifts a bit of Paul
Westerberg-ish magic for "The Other Side Of America".
Easy comparisons to Whiskeytown abound on this record;
you can find the same hard-drinking, self-effacing brand of
semi-rock on tracks like the brilliant "In The Meantime"
and "Down To Milwaukee". If Green Day was an
alt-country brand they would surely churn out spectacular melodies
like those found in "Sad State Of Affairs".
I could tell you that every song on Is This Progress?
sounds a bit like something else, and each song does to some
extent; but the magic here lies in the Obsoletes ability to
craft genuine songs that invoke other memories, all the while
maintaining their own unique musical identity. From fairly straightforward
alt-country to late 60's sounding blues rock, the Obsoletes
have put together a fantastic album that never leaves a moment
for boredom or disinterest. And for those guitarists out there,
the riffs and tones on this record are amazing.
1. Empty sidewalk
2. Wish It Never Came
3. In The Meantime (Hey Hey Hey)
4. Sad State Of Affairs
5. The Other Side Of America
6. Little Gurl
7. Down To Milwaukee
8. Stay Awhile
9. Is This Progress?
10. Won't Get Anywhere
11. You've Got It All
12. PO Box
13. The Town That You Grew Up In
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