The Buddha Den

Everything you wanted to know about the Dayton music scene and more but were afraid to ask

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Interiors-s/t

With current indie trends steering perilously toward vintage synth abuse and neon revival, it's suddenly more difficult to find a band that simply writes good rock songs. In the case of Chicago's The Interiors, you will find little in the way of unnecessary artifice. The trio embraces the spartan ethos of a trio to great effect on their debut disc The Interiors (54-40 Or Fight Records).

Although the band may only be three (guitarist/vocalist Chase Duncan, bassist Collin Jordan, and drummer Brian Lubinsky), the group's ability to delicately manage the space yields incredibly complex arrangements while still retaining an impeccable gift of melody and songcraft. From the opening guitar stabs of "I'm So Happy", The Interiors effortlessly fuse an earthy soul into a post-punk mathy-ness that recalls R.E.M., Fugazi, Kings of Leon, and even traces of Afrobeat while never losing their own identity.

Throughout the disc, Duncan's ability to trace his vocal melodies with his spiky, sonorous guitar lines largely defines the band's sound. While Lubinsky pounds out extended geometric equations, Jordan's bass lines run a go-between as he intermittently punctuates the tracks with deftly placed melodic runs. Taken together, these seemingly disparate elements unify into a stunningly minimalist construct. See tracks like "The Bug" and the chilling tension of "A Crooked Line" for further evidence of this. On the frantic indie gem "Ghosts", doses of Peter Buck's IRS-era guitar work propel the song. Perhaps the only misstep on the disc is the country-fried rave-up of "Shooting Off", which simply comes off as mere pastiche.

One of The Interiors' greatest strengths lies in their ability to reside in quiet spaces with confidence. The band does not embrace the "loud-quiet-loud" notion, preferring instead to hold songs at bay for their duration, the resultant effect of unsettled tension, as on album closer "All The Cities", surely being the desired end. Duncan & co. are just as effective on the anthemic "Powerlines" which may very well be the best track on the album.

What The Interiors lack in hipster cache, they more than make up for with instantly classic songs. In a musical climate that seems to move through trends like ADD-lightning, The Interiors have created a sonic palette which may very well endure such trifling tastes.

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