Listen Up: Wednesday, May 16, 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
764-HERO

Nobody Knows This is Everywhere (Tiger Style Records)

By Vic Drabicky

The lineup of 764-HERO has the talent to put out great albums: new bassist, Robin P. of Modest Mouse; a top-notch producer, Phil Ek of Modest Mouse and Built to Spill fame; and extremely talented frontman John Atkins. So why is their latest release only good at best?

Although there isnít a single defining reason why Nobody Knows This is Everywhere falls short of the mark, a large portion of the blame could be placed on Ekís production. Rather than let the bandís raw, dry guitars, basic drum lines, and overall simplistic sound drive the album the way it did on previous works, Ek pushes the band toward more polished, refined sonics similar to those of his other projects. The result is a somewhat over-produced collection of 764-HERO-Mouse-Spill songs.

But the disc isnít all that bad. While the bandís longtime listeners may initially be disappointed, casual fans might learn to like the album more as they listen to it. The group does manage to stick with what has worked for them in the past: simple yet creative guitar licks coupled with almost overly simplified lyrics. Nowhere is the bandís simplicity more evident than in ďSkylines,Ē Everywhereís strongest and most mellow track. Reminiscent of the bandís early days, lead singer John Atkinsí elegantly placed vocals fit almost seamlessly with the smart piano arrangement. You could say itís beautiful.

When 764-HERO released Weekends of Sound in 2000, the band set a high standard for itself. While Nobody Knows This is Everywhere meets that standard, it does little ó if anything ó to raise it.


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