Listen Up: Wednesday, October 31, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Hi-Fi Drowning

Rounds the Rosa (self-released)

By Ken Shimamoto

Two years into the new millennium, and it looks as though American indie rockers have fully absorbed the influence of last decade’s crop of Brit pop-rockers (e.g., Blur, Oasis, the mighty Radiohead, et al.). That’s a good thing for rockarollers whose tastes fall in between the extremes of the twang and thrash that are generally available out there in Clubland.

For lotsa listeners with enough rings around their trunks to remember, uh, expanding our consciousness to the strains of Dark Side of the Moon, Radiohead represented something like neoclassicism — young Turks who weren’t afraid to make big, ambitious Rock Albums — but beyond that, a relief from the sometimes daunting immediacy of simpler, more aggressive rock styles. Now their influence is seemingly everywhere. Look at Hi-Fi Drowning’s latest.

These two brothers (guitar-bass tandem Jeremy and Jon Eggert) and two others (frontman Eric Martin and new drummer Taylor Young) have been at it since they were Dallas teens. Their noteworthy six-year trajectory has been marked thus far by demo interest from conglomerate MCA and studio work with super-hip Flaming Lips producer Keith Cleversley.

This album, cut in Dallas and Austin, sounds like the work of a fully mature creative unit. The sonics are incredibly lush and full, laden with electronic effects that enhance rather than distract from the music. Many weird instrumental touches — slide guitars, glockenspiels, a banjo even — make the mix of textures even more interesting. The songcraft is first-rate, although the individual tracks run together like episodes from a dream. And Eric Martin’s voice seems to emerge from the same lysergic haze as Thom Yorke’s.

My only question: Is the title “Organizing Intersections” a play on “Interstellar Overdrive”? Or am I reading too much into this?


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