TonyDoug's Other CD Reviews
by tonydoug wright
The Sames, You Are the Sames (Pox World Empire, 2005)
THE BAND:Marc Farris (Piano, Guitars and Vocals), Zeno Gill (Piano, Synths, Guitars, Theremin and Vocals), Mas Sato (Wurlitzer, Bass and Vocals) and Tim Salemy (Drums, Percussion and Vocals)
THE HISTORY: The Sames are a Chapel Hill, NC based band that has been around since 1999. The Sames gained local notoriety with a debut EP so they went into the studio to record a follow up but all of the material was lost in a hard-drive crash. The Sames regrouped and the end result was You Are The Sames.
THE REVIEW:During my first few listens of The Sames You Are The Sames I had the feeling I was listening to an album of songs that could be used in commercials for Volkswagen or Target. Imagine if you will a group of twenty-something hipsters driving around town in their new Volkswagen with The Sames blasting out of their stereo while searching for the nearest Target to get a back-to-school look courtesy of Isaac Mizrahi. Now that’s marketing, folks.
Who knows if The Sames will get that big contract to use their music in a commercial but they do have a respectable album in You Are The Sames. At times this album has a Guided By Voices and Flaming Lips influence that come out loud and clear on ‘In Liberty Lights’ and ‘Bomb Scare’. Although You Are The Sames is a decent album it is one of those albums that you’d rather skim through than listen to completely. Its not like the songs are terrible, it is the fact that a majority of The Sames material lacks something musically to grab your attention. But when The Sames get it right with a song they get your attention and the music sticks with you for the rest of the day.
THE BAND:Bobby Landle (Guitars and Vocals), Michael Nestor (Guitars and Vocals), Mike Landavere (Percussion) and Dave Hirner (Bass)
THE HISTORY: The Seldon Plan hails from Baltimore, MD and they describe their sound as “post-emo-pop”. Making Circles is their first full-length release since forming in 2002.
THE REVIEW: So what was The Seldon Plan? Was this some famed historical plan that ended up being some kind of major boondoggle that brought shame and dishonor upon some poor schmuck? No. The Seldon Plan comes from the works of famed science-fiction author Isaac Asimov who used it as a central theme in his Foundation Series in which history could be determined in a mathematical way. Now you know and knowing is half the battle.
Making Circles has nothing to do with space ships or robot battles so you Isaac Asimov super fans better chill out. This debut release from The Seldon Plan is filled with well-crafted pop music such as the Teenage Fanclub influenced tracks ‘Top Left Corner’ and ‘Westchester’. The best song on Making Circles just might be the bouncy but original ‘Love Again’. What is most impressive about Making Circles is the fact that although this album is a self-released effort it sounds like a top-notch release from a major label.