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Is This Progress?
145 Records

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.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

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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