Every Move A Picture, Heart = Weapon

Every Move A Picture, Heart = Weapon

The ’80s post-punk revival is getting a little out of hand. When bands like Interpol and Franz Ferdinand came out, it was a breath of fresh air because most modern rock fans hadn’t listened to Joy Division in a while, much less heard of Gang of Four. As more and more bands of the same ilk have emerged, however, it’s become increasingly difficult for them to make much of a wave. Nonetheless, the trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon, especially in the UK. Just for kicks, I was looking in the “Form a Band” section of the want-ads in a recent NME, and the first ad I saw said the following: “Guitarist/Bassist available, with image and experience, looking for a London band with management and image, influences Joy Division, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Interpol, Bravery, The Stooges, The Clash.” Wow.

Americans Every Move A Picture, hailing from the venerable San Francisco music scene, don’t really add anything new to the post-punk revival. The staccato snare drums and circuitous guitar hooks are all there (along with the humming synths), but the attitude is sorely missing. Listening to them, I couldn’t help but think they formed by posting one of those NME ads. I mean, take a look at their MySpace page… The band bears more resemblance to relative newcomers Bloc Party, albeit with an Elvis Costello clone on vocals, than they do earlier touchstones Joy Division and Gang of Four.

The production quality is fantastic but is less post-punk and more Oingo Boingo. The big liability here is the vocals by Brent Messenger, who at times goes annoyingly overboard on the start-stop vocals, à la William Shatner. Heart = Weapon starts out strong with “Mission Bell” but then slowly starts to wind and gasp for breath. It gets particularly clunky on “On the Edge of Something Beautiful (at 12AM).”

Some of the stuff I’ve read about the band says that they have a political bent, but that must be buried in the subtext. Or maybe I just started dozing off and had a hard time listening for the messages (I did hear something about the “national defense,” though). Sometimes CNN through a Fender is exciting (e.g., The Clash) and other times it just comes off like a slab of cheese.

(V2 Records -- http://us.v2music.com/; Every Move A Picture -- http://www.everymoveapicture.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, July 14th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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