Thursday, July 03, 2008

Downtempo Goodness from The Great Northwest

Anytime someone sends me something to listen to I indulge them as best as I can. Such is the case with Portland's THE GREAT NORTHWEST. When a band drops MY BLOODY VALENTINE, SPRIITUALIZED and THE DANDY WARHOLS in their opening bio then they had best bring the good when you press play. After a few listens the their debut, "The Widespread Reign of...", you can finally get past the obvious references to the aforementioned artists and see what this band has to offer that is in some way their own.

"Chief John", the official first single has a nice lazy acoustic feel to it that allows lead singer Brian James Coates to drift over the top with his vocals. The whole song is an exercise in atmosphere that becomes more infectious as you listen (somewhat reminiscent of the Beta Band's "Dry The Rain"). "Know What I Mean" openly aped Spritiualized, but that is not a bad thing. "Reverie" has a nice clipped guitar intro before it opens up to a kind of dreamy ballad. My favorite track is probably "Western American" which somehow got stuck in my head while I was at work one day and I was actually forced to shut my office door, crank up the computer speakers and blast it so I could get it out of my head. So it's worth the money to get this if you are into the kind of dreamy, slightly fuzzed out space rock sound. I will certainly follow up what they do next...

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