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Friday, May 26, 2006
i don't know this band from their last release; i'm one of the dweebs coming in late to the tune of their new album, wishing i could claim i've known them and loved them all along.

schey, sam, marko, nate, don

this is The Format.

The Format is impossibly vague about their personal info. Myspace tells us that they're from Peoria, in the US, but i don't have the slightest idea where that is. i'm also not even sure that they have only or all of five people in their band; based on myspace, i'm assuming that number is correct. but they have no biographical information - at least not about the band, anyway. if you'd like to know the life story of Nate, however, you can go to their official page (linked above) and read all about it in News & Updates. of course: the most important fact is that their newest release, Dog Problems, is released July 11th.

as i listen to this album, i go through several stages of one essential reaction. the overall feeling is: wow. these guys are really... on their way. sometimes i think: holy shit, this is fantastic! listen to the instrumental liberality! hear the integration of musical elements, the crossing of genres, the spunk! they sound like they're having a great time, like they're ready for anything, daring anyone and everyone to hear what they have to play. really: they accomplish all of that.

but let me say something, before i continue on this ecstatic report of yet another wonderful omg-you-have-to-hear-this band. they fall just short. sometimes such extensive integration can lead to an undefinable, almost unreachable band. not that definition is entirely necessary - but sometimes, just every once in a while, you want more from them. you sense potential, heart, absolute passion for the world of music and for performance. but this hovers just above the mark. you want them to pick a genre, any genre, and show what they can really make of it - what they're really made of. i want to say to them: you're too talented to sound like this.

i want not to end on this note. Dog Problems is a delight; it draws strongly from alt country, has everything from horns to Queen-style harmonizing to what i'm almost positive is an accordian. on "I'm Actual," it sounds like they actually have an entire orchestra backing them - with a full choir to boot. piano is almost always extremely strong. vocals are interesting; i'm not sure who the frontman is, but while his tenor is perfect for any pop song, it can sometimes push it to that scary border between indie pop and whiny emo pop. that's a scary border, as far as i'm concerned. "If Work Permits" and some of "She Doesn't Get It" go there for me. they have great hooks, catchy rhythms, and you can always count on being able to sing along. essentially: they dabble in everything, and everything comes out well. you just want more of... something.

go listen:
  • their creepspace, as they dub their myspace on their official site
  • get mp3s from IGIF and Music For Kids.

    did anyone notice i said "dweeb," earlier?
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