NOTE: Freelance writer Jason Duarte books shows in Elgin and Chicago, is part of a band and occasionally blogs about the local music scene (usually Wednesdays) on Between the Bylines.
'Know Your Sins'
Underground Railroad to Candyland
Recess Records CD/LP
Release date: 4/26/2011
San Pedro, Calif.'s Todd Congelliere (Toys That Kill, F.Y.P., Stoned At Heart) not only fronts Underground Railroad To Candyland, as well as the aforementioned groups, but he put out his band's new record April 26 via his label, Recess Records.
The first time I heard URTC's debut record, "Bird Roughs," I thought it was really weird. It was a kooky, progressively jumpy album with songs that didn't really make sense. But the more I listened to it, the more I fell for it. I saw the band live a couple of times and really got a feel for what they're all about; having fun and partying and not taking yourself too seriously. Then it all clicked and the senseless made sense all of a sudden.
That being said, when the opportunity to review "Knows Your Sins" came along, I jumped, much like their backup singer, Jack Blast, does during the band's live performance.
Jason's review, after the jump.
"That I Dunno" and "Jimmy V" are the first two tracks -- and arguably the best on the record. They pick up right where "Bird Roughs" left off. The similar progressive, minimalist sort of strumming and drums beats ease you into the album. Then "Jimmy V" comes in -- more upbeat and more progressive. The lyrics are more attention-grabbing. The chorus is a bit catchier. I'm already pulled in and bobbing my head and tapping my feet. It's that kind of record, but I didn't know I was doing it already.
The production and recording and mastering and all that stuff is way better on "Know Your Sins" than "Bird Roughs." The more I listen to this album, the more it grows on me, much like their first one. It was like having to go through all that, "Do I really want to keep listening to this record?" stuff all over again, which was interesting. Usually, I latch onto a band once I know them, but URTC keeps it interesting. They are relatively the same as they were on "Bird Roughs;" I mean, not much has changed at all.
It's very upbeat and catchy -- but this new one is different in that it's broken up a bit by an instrumental track, "Run! Chicken! Run!" and a 45-second clip track titled "Animals-30 Seconds." Not really sure what this one is referring to (in "Bird Roughs," there's an audio clip of the famous "I Like Turtles" YouTube video).
All in all, URTC has brought us another fun-filled album filled with quirkiness, lingering, upbeat melodies and the stuff that they do best.
-- Jason Duarte, Guest Blogger