My Education, Bad Vibrations

My Education, Bad Vibrations

My Education is an instrumental rock band from Austin. On their fourth album, Bad Vibrations, they seamlessly blend pastoral-sounding violin in with epic rock anthems. Their songs blend pastoral Dirty Three ideas with a more lyrical Mono into a sound of their own. They have a great head for melodies, which range from epic rock numbers to more subdued ballads, and they pull everything off well.

The best song here, “Briches Blanket,” is a slower, pastoral number featuring a beautiful slide guitar part and a beautfiul counter melody from the violin, building up into a massive anthemic bridge and then settling down into something sleepier again. “This Old House” is a louder rock number that opens with a wash of ambient sound, supporting a picked melody that’s sort of a less-minimal Mono, and builds into a quietly beautiful chorus section. They use violin as a harmony as much as a melody instrument, almost like a high vocal harmony or something, and it’s a beautiful effect, and expecially on the slower numbers.

The only unnecessary addition to the album are some keyboard overdubs that at best aren’t necessary, and at worst are clunky. On “Sluts and Maniacs,” the prominent keyboard chords are just dense chords pounded out that don’t really work with what the rest of the band is doing. On “Briches Blanket,” the keyboard overdubs are sparser, and work better, but even they don’t add enough to the song.

My Education has been through some lineup changes, starting originally as a trio, but the additional guitar and violin work effectively to create an epic quality to the band that would have been difficult in their former incarnation. It clearly worked out in the band’s favor because their songs might not have worked quite as well as a power trio. And they have a lot of powerful songs that use the full lineup — not an instrument is unnecessary. Bad Vibrations is strongly recommended.

(Strange Attractors Audio House -- P.O. Box 13007, Portland, OR. 97213-0007;; My Education --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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