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Communiqué
Poison Arrows
Lookout! Records
www.radiocommunique.com


Communiqué is a walking contradiction, between their lyrics and the feel of the music surrounding them- but man o' man, does it work in their favor. The lyrics are just depressing. Good, but oh so depressing. They are the kind of words you could picture some teen artsy goth girl scribbling on a piece of paper before she attempts to commit suicide. And the music is a complete one hundred and eighty degree turn from that, with a nice upbeat pop-eighties feel that you can't help but nod your head to and sing along with. Together, they make for some pretty interesting music and vibes.

So yeah, I catch myself singing "If you want me/ If you need me/ Then please feel free/ To ouija me/ I'll be swinging by a short length of cord/ Light as a feather/ Stiff as a board." I don't know whether I should laugh, or cry, because it is so catchy I can't help it, but so depressing it scares me. Ultimately, I listen in awe as the album continues, not knowing what else to expect. And it just gets better. It is such a subtle genius of songwriting that you really have to pay attention to the details and read, really read, the lyrics sheet to get it. At the same time the album just lacked any pretentiousness; it just was, without trying to explain.

I loved the general songwriting, including the simple & straightforward formulated song structures, which lended to the overall feel rather than taking away. The best addition to this formulated approach was an amply used backing vocal that was so subtle you could miss it on certain tracks, and so complementary in others you couldn't have the song without it. The backing was so effective that you could honestly classify it as another instrument in the bands already well established musical arsenal. They used it that well.

The only nit I can muster against this album is the sometimes-cheesy sound effects used by the keyboards. With the quality produced from every other angle of this record, a little more time spent on proper keyboard sound could only push this album further in the right direction. Blessedly the keyboards are not focused on in the final mix of the album and are used to fill the songs out in a healthy way. Also, Rory Henderson's voice, while excellent in quality, has a certain distinction that might lose him listeners. I loved his style though, and thought it was a nice addition to the indie-pop-eighties feel.

Every song on this album is radio ready and dying to be played for the masses. If I had to mention one, I couldn't, I'd have to mention them all, because they are all of equally superior quality and sustenance that they make this a hands down, rock-solid album. What else can I say; I have no hesitation recommending this band and record. So what are you waiting for, go pick it up.

-bishop

Track listing:

1. The Best Lies
2. Evaporate
3. Ouija Me
4. Dagger Vision
5. Perfect Weapon
6. Black Curses
7. Strays
8. My Bay
9. Death Rattle Dance
10. Rattling Bones


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Mike Doughty



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