Friday, August 24, 2012

Mineral - Daily Grind, Kansas City - 05/17/1996 (1996)

Heartfelt gratefulness to tragicand

Video: MPEG2 Video 720x480 (4:3) 29.97fps 9500kbps [Video - MPEG2, Main Profile, Main Level, 720x480, 29.970 fps, 9500.0 kbit/s]
Audio: Dolby AC3 48000Hz stereo 256kbps [Audio - Dolby Digital, 48.0 kHz, 2 chn, 256.0 kbit/s]


1. Five, Eight And Ten
2. February
3. M.D.
4. A Letter
5. Parking Lot

And I know that they will never shine
The way it did that day
When we threw paper airplanes at your head
And sat on your knees laughing...

Mineral - Emo's in Austin TX - 10/26/97 (1997) (Second circulating angle) (also includes The Promise Ring set)

Dear friends! Let's say endless thanks to tragicand

Video: MPEG2 Video 720x480 (4:3) 29.97fps 9800kbps [Video - MPEG2, Main Profile, Main Level, 720x480, 29.970 fps, 9800.0 kbit/s]
Audio: Dolby AC3 48000Hz stereo 256kbps [Audio - Dolby Digital, 48.0 kHz, 2 chn, 256.0 kbit/s]

This video looks much more expressive than the last. I have a feeling that I suddenly found myself in 1997 right in the stuffy concert hall... Wait! Maybe this is really happening?

Sounding like a symphony of strings...

Mineral - Emo's in Austin TX - 10/26/97 (1997) (Second circulating angle) (also includes The Promise Ring set)

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Get Up Kids - Singles & EP (1997-1999)

1997 - Woodson EP

1. Woodson
2. Second Place
3. Off The Wagon
4. A Newfound Interest In Massachusetts

1999 - Red Letter Day EP

1. One Year Later
2. Red Letter Day
3. Forgive And Forget
4. Anne Arbour
5. Mass Pike

1999 - Action & Action

1. Action & Action
2. Close To Me
3. I'm A Loner Dottie, A Rebel (Demo Version)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jimmy Eat World - Singles & EP (1998-2001)

1998 - Jimmy Eat World ‎– Jimmy Eat World EP

1. Lucky Denver Mint
2. For Me This Is Heaven
3. Your New Aesthetic (Demo)
4. Softer
5. Roller Queen

2001 - Jimmy Eat World ‎– Singles + Jimmy Eat World / Jebediah Split

1-1 Jimmy Eat World – Opener
1-2 Jimmy Eat World – 77 Satellites
1-3 Jimmy Eat World – What I Would Say To You Now
1-4 Jimmy Eat World – Speed Read
1-5 Jimmy Eat World – Spangle
1-6 Jimmy Eat World – H Model
1-7 Jimmy Eat World – Ramina
1-8 Jimmy Eat World – Christmas Card
1-9 Jimmy Eat World – Untitled
1-10 Jimmy Eat World – Carbon Scoring
1-11 Jimmy Eat World – Digits
Jimmy Eat World & Jebediah
2-1 Jimmy Eat World – The Most Beautiful Things
2-2 Jimmy Eat World – No Sensitivity
2-3 Jimmy Eat World – Cautioners
2-4 Jebediah – Animal
2-5 Jebediah – The Less Trusted Pain Remover
2-6 Jebediah – Harpoon

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Jimmy Eat World ‎– Clarity (1999)

Clarity is the third studio album by American rock band Jimmy Eat World, released on February 23, 1999 through Capitol Records.


With their debut, Static Prevails behind them, Jimmy Eat World entered the the studio with a newfound maturity in songwriting. The result was an album full of clever songs with a unique sound.

Jimmy Eat Word
Jim Adkins - Vocals, Guitar
Tom Linton - Guitar, Vocals
Rick Burch - Bass
Zach Lind - Drums

If there is one word that can sum up Clarity, it is 'sensible'. Everything about the album is sensible. The production has a nice clean sound that allows the instruments to come through, but it is dirty enough to not sound too polished. The vocals are emotional but never sound insincere or wimpy. The lyrics are clever and emotive but never stray into "teen angst" territory. There are numerous extra instruments throughout the record (tuned percussion, strings, synthesisers, electronics and drum machines to name a few), but they are never used to make the album sound epic, they simply add to the rest of the music. Vocal harmonies are evenly spread through the record and they are expertly crafted and always in exactly the right spot. The song order is perfect with the tracks always balancing each other out. Nothing is overdone, yet Jimmy Eat World are sensible enough to use whatever resources they have to make the songs as good as they can get. Indeed, even the length is sensible, clocking in at 1 hour, enough music to make the album long and replayable, yet not too long to the point of being a mess. To put it simply, on Clarity, Jimmy Eat World do everything right.

To start off Clarity, Jimmy Eat World do exactly what you would expect them not. Opening the album with one of the most mellow tracks on the album, "Table For Glasses" sets the tone of the rest of the record. After it's last note dies away, we experience one brilliant pop song after another. The album's single, "Lucky Denver Mint" was featured on the Drew Barrymore film "Never Been Kissed", along with numerous college radio stations in the US. The rest of the album, however, was just as worthy. Every song on the album is well thought out and deserves to be there. There is great contrast between all of the songs. Some are soft and mellow and others are hard hitting and aggressive. Most songs are both. Musically, the band are excellent. The drumming is sophisticated and original and the use of two guitars is a great addition to the band. The aforementioned range of added instruments adds immensely to the arrangements of the songs. Not only are the songs well executed, but they are good songs.Jim Adkins' songwriting is incredible, as well as consistant. Amusingly, most of the songs on the album are in the same one or two keys. Clarity is an album full of sensible pop songs, replay value and a diverse range of instruments and sounds. 
Truly one of the best albums of the 90s.

Brilliantly written songs, not a single bad track
Great use and range of extra instruments
Perfect production

Some listeners may not enjoy the long and progressive closing track

Reccomended Tracks
Lucky Denver Mint
A Sunday
Just Watch The Fireworks

Andrew H.

Actually I feel quite weird writing this review for an album that came out in 99. The fact is you may have heard of Jimmy Eat World, but if you haven't heard of their release called "Clarity" then I do have a hard time understanding that you have heard Jimmy Eat World. This album is by far the best put out by one of the most creative bands. They play with a different style than most bands out there. Wheather you would call it "emo," "power pop," or metal, (for you metal heads) I call it sheer genius nothing short of one of the best albums of all time.
This record also holds probably one of the best songs ever! It's called "Your new Aesthetic." If you have never heard this song, I suggest you pull up your music program and download this right now. This song hits every mark with the vocals keeping your attention while the music seems to almost drowned away your thoughts. Other mentionable songs include: "Lucky Denver Mint," "Crush," and "Clarity."
This cd blows all of Jimmy Eat Worlds releases out of the water, leaving nothing behind. Tired of all the sell out pussy bands? Tired of the music that all sounds the same? If you are then what the hell are you waiting for? Go and get a band that will make you want to trash your other shit cds!

Hey there, Encyclopedia Brown: ever wonder the real reason as to why Weezer couldn't put it together in the late '90s and follow up Pinkerton? Clarity. I mean, it has to be, right? After hearing Jimmy Eat World's 1999 masterpiece, Rivers Cuomo undoubtedly went back to the drawing board and — rightfully — started writing the Trapper Keeper full of pop songs that he drew from for their next two pop-tastic messes. 

Probably not, but the fact remains that Clarity was what Pinkerton might've sounded like if it had been cleaned up and given stuff like six-part harmonies, string-laden bridges, and a dollop of tasteful electronica. In other words, it's a recipe for absolute disaster and a rabid critical reaction. But, to those who grew up idolizing the Sex Pistols rather than PiL or (shock!) those who can regard each as great at the same time, Clarity is in fact a minor masterpiece — a product of its time and as important to modern emo as Pinkerton. Bear with us. 

Most great music is an incredible balancing act: If the Beatles had leaned much further towards the conceptual on Sgt. Pepper, we'd get (more) people claiming it a pretentious failure. Clarity, of course, is no Sgt. Pepper, but the analogy holds up: if you take away the slight crunch of some of the "rock" numbers on Clarity, you're liable to end up with Dashboard Confessional and if you amp up the rock elements and add any personality at all, you'd get something like My Chemical Romance. With Clarity, Jimmy Eat World hold a fertile middle ground where the aim is simply a polished emo-pop that more often than not echoes Weezer's self-titled debut. 

Honestly, do you seriously hear that much of a difference in "Goodbye Sky Harbor" and "Only in Dreams"? (Both are lengthy closing numbers in love with the idea of propulsion and implied and explicit harmony.) It may be damning, but much of Clarity's greatness stems from the fact that it takes everything The Blue Album kept as a secret and puts it out into the open.

Rest assured, Jim Adkins doesn't have half the personality of Rivers Cuomo (compare Rolling Stone profiles in the early '00s for proof), but the lack of specificity in Jimmy Eat World’s lyrics are one of its most endearing traits. Shit, "These days are numbered / I can tell / So until the crash I'll write it down, down"? Who can't identify with that (especially when you’re fifteen)? 

Oops. May have let the cat out of the bag with that last parenthetical, eh? Listen, I'm not going to sit here and claim that Clarity is something that a college graduate is going to listen to for the first time and be able to enjoy without reservation. There's been a lot of garbage that’s come out in its wake that claims to be influenced by it. (There's been a lot of garbage that Jimmy Eat World has released since.) But there's also a lot of stuff that you probably love that unknowingly (or knowingly, for that matter) that rips them off. (Every band that contains more than ten members and is from Scandinavia for a start.) Just because your new girlfriend thinks watching fireworks is irritating and uncomfortable doesn’t mean there isn't room in the world for your old one who is now a receptionist at a scuba academy. In fact, do you have her number?

Charles Merwin


On the heels of their self-titled EP in late 1998, Jimmy Eat World released their breakthrough albumClarity in 1999 and took up the mantle of emo poster boys. Deftly produced by Mark Trombino and the band, Clarity mixes introspective balladry with power-chord punk rock, elements of chamber pop, and subtle doses of electronica to create a remarkably unique album. The only single to garner radio play, the hard-edged yet poppy "Lucky Denver Mint," was also featured on the soundtrack to the Drew Barrymore film Never Been Kissed, and while the album reached an audience that far surpassed Jimmy Eat World's previous efforts, it was by no means a commercial smash hit. The band's punk influences are evident on "Your New Aesthetic," which decries the commercialization of radio as effectively as any song since Elvis Costello's "Radio, Radio." The other songs are more personal and poignant. Using string ensembles, drum loops, chimes, piano, vibraphones, and tight vocal harmonies to create intricately layered songs, Clarityalternates between hypnotic and hard rock, often in the same song. The snarl of "Blister" and "Crush" are counterbalanced by the understated beauty of "Table for Glasses" and "On a Sunday." However, most of the tracks mix both ends of the emotional spectrum with dramatic effects. The sweeping "Goodbye Sky Harbor," which clocks in at an epic sixteen-minutes-and-eleven seconds, starts off as an up-tempo romp, but evolves into an expansive piece of dream pop that includes vocal loops, several layers of delicate electric guitars, bells, and a drum machine. Heartfelt, yearning vocals from Jim Adkins and Tom Lintontie the songs on Clarity together and set them apart from other post-grunge rock acts. Neither vocalist is afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, but both pull it off without sounding wimpy or overly forlorn. They are also versatile enough to belt out the more aggressive tunes. Trombino also deserves praise for helping to brilliantly balance excellent songwriting and traditional rock elements with adventurous production and unique instrumentation.
Mark Vanderhoff

Jimmy Eat World ‎– Clarity (1999) 320kbps

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Jimmy Eat World ‎– Static Prevails (1996)

Static Prevails is the second album by Jimmy Eat World. It was released on July 23, 1996.


Summary: Jimmy Eat World show their teeth.

Jimmy Eat World have reached that musical Nirvana where they are accessible, and yet embraced by the music community. They can do no wrong, especially after they released the huge-selling 'Bleed American' and catapulted themselves into the big leagues.
Of course, it is always interesting to see where a band started from.

'Static Prevails' was Jimmy Eat World growing into their own style, and finding a voice which really suited them, spurred on by bands like Sunny Day Real Estate.
And it is very good.

The album opens with 'Thinking, That's All' - a mid-tempo song which sets the tone for the album - heavy but with a melodic bite. Jim Adkins' voice fits the angry tone, and his and Tom Linton's guitars mesh into a snarling whole, and in the choruses, Linton's deeper voice sings the words while Adkins screams in the background. It is a great pairing, and a fine opening song.

'Rockstar' switches vocal duties over to Linton, and his deeper, more melodious style links well with the fist-raising, anthemic chorus which you will probably find yourself humming for a long time after. It is a heart warming rock song that shows the signs of the JEW we know today.

'Claire' could almost be a ballad, with its lovelorn lyrics, and Adkins takes control of the singing once again. The guitars have been pared back a small notch, but still have the intensity to keep you hooked, with gentle plucks sounding clear in the mix. A great track.

'Call It In The Air' is a fast-paced punk song, with empassioned yells and buzzsaw guitars being the order of the day. Adkins' vocal harmonies are heartfelt while retaining an edge. In short, another good song to add to the list.

'Seventeen' hands the vocal baton to Linton once again, and he is faultless, giving the crunching but emotional guitars an excellent singer to bounce off. The chorus is simple, but all the more heart-rending for it - Adkins and Linton both yell "They'll take you, where you won't come back to me!" like they very much mean it. Another one that'll stick in your head.

'Episode IV' is a breather after the pounding pace set by the songs preceding it, but this does not signify a drop in quality. Far from it. Linton continues on the mic, singing softly with his heart firmly on his sleeve, and the lyrics capture the essence of teenage insouciance - "We'll dance off time to songs we've never liked, and sing off key, thinking it sounds alright". A sad, brilliant track.

'Digits' shows more ambition, with a Slint like instrumental for its intro. The guitars chime and interplay, leaving you unsure as to what's going to happen next. Then, out of nowhere, the band come back in with a crash, and Adkins yells with a ferocity that with make you nearly jump out of your seat. The song tumbles along in punk pop fashion for a while, before leading into a gentle outro, with Adkins' vocals soaring over the top, and the last sounds in the song are soft chirps of birds. Fantastic music.

'Caveman' is a welcome return to Linton's singing, and the song is in the vein of 'Rockstar', but does not suffer for it at all. It is another rousing rocker that could launch a thousand stadium lighters, as wel as being pretty hard to forget.

'World Is Static' enters slowly, with a pulsing drumbeat underpinning tense guitars and growling bass. Then, the song leaps out at you like a tiger in the bushes, grabbing you the throat as Adkins yells into your face. It kicks and snarls with the most angst-ridden songs on the album, until the outro, where the vocals begin to harmonise, and the song ends on a slightly happier note than when it started. Another gem.

'In The Same Room' lulls you into a false sense of security with its soft intro, and then the guitars gradually thunder in, monolithic and powerful for some parts, and pulling back for dreamy, softer sections. The band's knowledge of attack and release is shown here, with thrilling results.

'Robot Factory' gallops along with a nervy intensity, and Linton sounds more anxious here than he has on the entire album - you can feel it, especially when he gives way to a yell near the end.

'Anderson Mesa' begins slowly, with plucked guitars and a calm rhythm section, until at the 2:34 mark, it drops into a down tempo chug, which unfolds over the rest of the song, and you won't want it to end, but it does, with lilting guitar plucks signifying the end of a fine album.

Worth every penny, and a great introduction to Jimmy Eat World.

Sound: Jimmy Eat World. 1996. Four good dudes just trying to make some sweet alternative rock. After changing their old punk style from their first album, the band started making up their own style of rock music. The best way anyone could ever describe this album would be "prog-alternative-emocore" (as in Sunny Day Real Estate emocore). There are some harder songs like "Caveman", "Thinking, That's All", and "World Is Static." However, if you're not into artsy rock, a lot of these songs won't appeal to you due to their lack of a distinctive melody in a lot of the songs. Good drumming, nice bass lines, and some really innovative guitar work (although a lack in solos) appears in this album. // 9

Lyrics and Singing: Great lyrics that are semi-incoherent at times, partly because of Jim Adkins rough voice, but mostly due to their vagueness and almost transcendant quality. They go along with the music most of the time, but I think the lyrics were meant to be more poetic than regular "song lyrics." Most deal with what appear to be lingering memories, friends, and girls. // 10

Impression: Sonically similar to Jimmy's Clarity album, except for the additional instruments being used on Clarity. Most impressive songs for me were "Anderson Mesa", "Thinking That's All", "Robot Factory", and "Claire." There are some very epic and brooding songs on this record, so if you bought it thinking it was gonna be a thirty minute pop stint, you were completely blown away. If I lost this album, I would definitely go buy another copy, the reason being that Static Prevails isn't sold as frequently as the other Jimmy albums. Great record, great songs, great band. Go buy it! // 9
Ultimate-Guitar review

With their third album Clarity being one of the most overlooked masterpieces of 1999, Static Prevails is Jimmy Eat World paying their dues in 1996. It could be the slight over-production (a curse that has always haunted the band), being on a major label for the first time, or them trying to get a feel for pulling fancy studio tricks (i.e., numerous backing vocals, cellos, and Moog additions). Maybe it's all three, but what Static Prevails essentially lacks is the songwriting maturity that Jimmy Eat World could have perfected; but it's almost as if the studio heads at Capitol wouldn't let them so that there would be more room for radio-friendly pop songs. In the end, nobody won. However, tracks such as "Anderson Mesa," "Call It in the Air," and "Seventeen" don't cross that line of boring alternative rock but remain in that aggressive pop status. 
Nothing close to classic, but definitely a sign of better things to come.
Mike DaRonco

Jimmy Eat World ‎– Jimmy Eat World (1994)

Jimmy Eat World is the debut album by Jimmy Eat World. It was released in 1994 on Wooden Blue Records and displays their early sound with Tom Linton singing lead on most of the songs on this album. The one song on this album that is sung by current primary vocalist Jim Adkins is "Usery". Jimmy Eat World is currently out of print. The album cover is an old picture of Linton's younger brothers Jim and Ed, from whom the band's name originated.

Jimmy Eat World ‎– Jimmy Eat World (1994) 320 kbps

The Gloria Record ‎– Start Here (2002)

For the thirsty, the suffering and all the rest.


Listening to Start Here, the stunning new full-length from Austin-based five piece,The Gloria Record, it's safe to say, the band has fully realized all the potential their eponymous 1998 debut E.P. promised — and then some. Start Here, is an ambitious recording, over two years in the making — and trust me, it shows. TGR's sound has evolved tenfold and Start Here is the manifestation of that growth. Not only is it arguably the band's finest record to date, a career defining masterpiece, if you will; it is perhaps the best record of 2002, thus far. The befitting title itself suggests — albeit unwittingly — that longtime TGR fans, newcomers and detractors alike, dispense with any predisposition they may have held about the band's previous efforts and well, start here.

Appropriately, the sprawling, ten-track, sonic-soiree begins with the title track. As the click of a metronome introduces the song, Ben Houtman's expansive yet plaintive synth playing takes center stage and accompanies Chris Simpson (guitar/vocals) as he succinctly delivers the album's manifesto: Lose yourself, you're young and you've got time/It's simple then; start here and move forward/You'll figure it out eventually, or not/Either way, you'll have company.

While, it's evident TGR has undergone a massive overhaul of their sound, thankfully, they haven’t forsaken their trademark segues. As the synth lines of "Start Here" slowly fade out, the track seamlessly segues into the manic, drumming precision of Brian Malone and the sweeping guitar lines of Brian Hubbard on "Good Morning Providence." In what is presumably a documentation of Simpson's frustrations in making the record, he sings: Good morning providence, we've got a situation here/ I'm in the belly of a whale and haven’t seen the sun for days/I'm cut and paste inside this tune/Good morning providence, the chorus is a wreck, so mind your head and bless this mess...while the rest of the band intricately weaves in and out of his phrasing.

"Cinema Air", opens with Hubbard in the drivers seat, with guitar tone reminiscent of the grittier tracks on R.E.M.'s Monster, before being pushed way down in the mix to make way for more of Houtman's piano meanderings. While the layered orchestration of this new record is simply amazing, it's Simpson’s self-depreciating, somewhat cynical lyrics that once again steal the show.

Please tell the whole world I am here to be their hero, with the perfect body and straight teeth/ Strings swelling every time I blink, with the perfect body and straight teeth and strings swelling every time I blink/ On the big screen with my big dreams, 'cause you know I am the drama king. 

– Excerpt from "Cinema Air "

If you haven't already gathered by now, the most noticeable difference, aside from keyboard-driven lush orchestration of this record and its predecessors, is Simpson's lyrical forthrightness. While Simpson has always been a masterful lyricist, since his days in Mineral, his lyrics this time around seem less esoteric (unless the songs on the old record were about you) and more direct. The only time on the entire record that you're reminded he's still the same affable guy who wrote such memorable heartfelt songs as, "MD" and "ForIvadell," is during the opening lines of "I Was Born In Omaha," an ode to being, well, born in Omaha, of all things. The track begins with Simpson’s voice accompanied solely by an acoustic guitar and sounds like classic TGR we all know and love. However, by the time the second verse rolls around, the track is given the full TGR treatment and you're also reminded that TGR is all grown up now. Moreover, listening to the next track, "Ascension Dream," I can hardly fathom any other band pulling off a song about hitting a deer and making it sound even remotely believable. However, TGR does just that, without coming off as being even the slightest bit corny.

Pull the flesh over those bones and rise, 'cause you're not supposed to lie here in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night/stand up and breathe in again and run along now to the other side, cause your friends are standing by./Tell them I'm sorry that I ever learned to drive. 
— Excerpt from "Ascension Dream"

Bottom line: if it's visceral, thinking-man's rock you seek, you've come to the right place. Start Here is TGR's most mature and best sounding (hats off to Saddle Creek svengali Mike Mogis, for the production) record to date. The lull between touring in support of 2000's A Lull In Traffic and writing/recording Start Here obviously served the band well, as the songs had time to simmer and evolve on their own. Even though the arrangements are seemingly complex at times, all of the players leave room for one another and never step on each others toes, leaving you with the sense this record was a collaborative and well thought out effort. 

On a scale of rock bands who are oft compared to "the world’s most important band": If one is Paloalto and ten is Muse, Start Here rates an eleven: Remy Zero.
Hybrid Music Reviews

"Start Here" has been a long time coming for the 5-piece Austin, TX band The Gloria Record. They formed in '97 and have released 2 ep's previous to it. Chris Simpson (guitar/vocals) and Jeremy Gomez (bass/keyboards) were members of the late-great band Mineral, and for the TGR, their lineup have been accompanied by Brian Hubbard (guitar), Brian Malone (drums), and Ben Houtman (keyboards, piano, organ). "Start Here" has been in the works for years and is finally finished. Was it worth the wait? To put it simply, yes. Being a huge fan of the Mineral sound, I loved the 2 ep's. They were pretty similar. When I popped in this disc for the first time, that is the type of sound I expected, and to my surprise the first listen was tough. It was so much different. But I knew in time it would grow on me, and it has. TGR has evolved immensely and developed a sound of their own. The crucial element that has set them apart is the keyboards. I would say it is the main instrument of the album. The sounds of the keyboards collide together beautifully for a masterpiece of musical artistry. The keyboards accompanied by the other instruments and the voice like no other of Chris Simpson makes this album track after track of enjoyment and relaxation. The album has 10 tracks and over 50 minutes of music, with songs that are heartfelt and honest. This isn't the catchiest album of the year, but I encourage you to give it a few listens through and see if you think it may be one of the best albums of the year.

The Gloria Record's Start Here begins with an anomaly, the synth-driven song from which the album bears its name. After that intro, however, the rest of the album progresses to become the heir apparent to Mineral's evolution. In fact, Start Here far surpasses anything Mineral did, or the Gloria Record has done up to this point themselves. After a few listens, the strength of lead singer Chris Simpson's voice begins to penetrate into your head like a siren. The keyboards are effortlessly worked into the songs and, from track to track, Start Here flows like the weeks of the year. 
Occasionally the songs are melancholic and gloomy like winter, other times full of hope and grace like summer, but behind them all are power, strength, beauty, and the knowledge that this might be the closest anyone can get to heaven while still in the flesh.
Kurt Morris

And if you don't feel lonely
Then you can't feel anything at all...

Friday, August 03, 2012

Elliott ‎– If They Do EP (1999)

Just to show there were no hard feelings with its original label Initial Records, and to hold fans over until the release of full-length False Cathedrals in the summer of 2000, Elliott released If They Do (along with the companion single ("Will You" on Revelation) in the spring of 2000. "If They Do" is a 7" single on vinyl, with two new songs, "Waiting While Under Paralysis" and "As Arson." The CD version, however, turns into a 30-minute collection, with two previously unreleased tracks left off of the 1996 EP In Transit. "Lost Instrumental" delves into a lost art in rock, the instrumental, and "Halfway Pretty Acoustic" is, as it sounds, an acoustic version of "Halfway Pretty." The original In Transit version appears alongside another cut from that EP, "Watermark High," which best represents the band's powerful melodic hardcore. 

While the album is a bit disjointed (the songs recorded together don't appear together), and nothing can duplicate Elliott's awesome live presence, If They Do fits nicely into any indie rock collection.

Ron DePasquale

Elliott ‎– U.S. Songs (1998)

During their brief career, Louisville's Elliott released three albums of original material and a final, posthumously released, live studio album. Although talented and hardworking they never really achieved a huge amount of commercial success, possibly because they refused to fit neatly into any one genre. Their debut, U.S. Songs, is almost melodic emo, but it's also a little alt-rock, and maybe a few other things besides. They also lean toward a more abstract lyrical style, which suits the mature, pleasantly aloof feel of the music, but offers no easy or immediate focal points for the listener. It all fits together perfectly, though, creating a superblytextured sound which reaches from oh-so-easy drifts to crashing waves. Yes, it takes a little effort to fully delve into the record, but the surface alone is so considered, so obviously well arranged, that the process itself is warm and welcoming, new insight born in every repeat listen.

Above all, U.S. Songs is an album about the often ignored, deeply tangible border and relationship between melancholy and bliss. The clarity of Chris Higdon's voice provides an ethereal, introspective quality to the imagery of the words, as they quietly float above the sweetly dulled guitars which bring "The Conversation" to life, or the delicate, calm eye within "Alchemy as a Rhythm". In stark but beautiful contrast to these lulls, Higdon often presses his voice to the very edges of a shout, no more so than amongst the pounding, expansive chords of "Safety Pin Explanation", and it's this constant swell and recede which brilliantly evokes the complexity of human emotion – the secret, unspoken pleasure at the heart of sadness and regret, the taint of anger and frustration in the very fabric of joy. Like all esoteric, abstract art, U.S. Songs is about ideas that can't easily be explored, feelings that defy simple definition; but, crucially, Elliott provide an elegant, dreamily melodic backdrop to their thoughts, making them all the stronger and more meaningful. 

They may have failed to find an extensive audience, but in this way at least, they truly succeeded.