The Story Of, foothill highway appalachian road

The Story Of, foothill highway appalachian road

Simply awesome. And I mean that not in the high school sense, but in the panoramic 70mm high-definition sense. From the opening EQ automation of “Animals Can Reason” that morphs into an R.E.M homage, then takes a left turn at 2:00 into some of the most interesting, scattered jigsaw-puzzle music I have heard in a long time, The Story Of has created what may be my favorite alt-album of the last few years.

The Story Of’s influences are all over this — Blink-182, euro-techno, Simon and Garfunkel, Radiohead, Irish (?!?) folk music, British pub sing-a-longs, and even that band that was big in the ’60s whose name rhymes with “deedles” — but they’re never overbearing. “Song For A Friend” is flat-out joyous, a 6/8 soundscape played with a wonderful restraint (especially the drums) and a vocal part that just swings. The opening riff to “Ergots of Rye” dumps an arena-rock intro onto a marching band verse section that manages to include a lyric about “tech support.” “Our Lobe Loop” is a near perfect flow-rap-sing-a-long that would be the lead track on any of the thirty-seven identical 311 albums out there, but it morphs into early Posies for fun just as you wrap your mind around what you’re hearing. And that’s the real genius of the band: before you finish figuring out any one part, The Story Of is onto the next, but you never feel left behind; in fact, you’re giggling to yourself about how cool it all is as it goes ripping by. But best of all, after you have listened to the disc a few times and gotten past all of the ear candy, you come away remembering the songs, not the individual pieces. And that’s really what it’s all about, right?

Is the cover of “Orinoco Flow” over-the-top? Yep. Does it suck? Nope. Did they need to stuff everything and the sink into the five songs presented here? Nope. Did this album make a two and a half hour train ride from Brig to Geneva a high point of my recent trip to the Continent? Absolutely.

(self-released; The Story Of --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Wednesday, August 16th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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