Librarians, Present Passed

Librarians, Present Passed

Librarians are an indie psychedelic/pop band from West Virginia. Present Passed, released earlier this year on Postfact Records, is a follow-up to 2006’s Alright Easy Candy Stranger and captures beautifully — although at times boringly — the band’s unique version of baroque-pop.

The album starts out extremely experimental with “Marilla Park,” a track that seems to be lacking something, especially for the opening track. If I had just heard this one, I probably wouldn’t have given Librarians a second listen. However, I’m glad that I kept going, because I promise it gets better.

“Candy Season” sounds like it very well could be an Animal Collective song, which may be partly why it also happens to be my favorite song and — in my opinion — the best one on the album. This track alone makes the entire album worth it. Drum machine, beautiful plucking of guitar strings, and tight vocal harmonies make this track one that will probably get stuck in your head. But it still keeps with the band’s psychedelic sound; halfway through the catchiness, everything stops and slows down and completely shifts directions. Just as you’re getting used to the new flow, it picks back and ends with the vocalist repeating “bless my soul” over and over.

“Wait & See” continues in the same Animal Collective-esque vocals and overall trippy/experimental sound, but a little more accessible and definitely more pop, and the synths on “Hard to Unwind” are fantastic, playing in the background throughout the entire song almost as loud as the vocals.

“Kid Stuff” is the other song on the album that makes the entire Present Passed experience worth it. It starts out slow and then builds into something epic and great. The pounding drums and strumming bass combined with wailing harmonies in the background create something so trippy and catchy it’ll make you want to turn it up as loud as it can go and play it over and over.

Unfortunately, the album ends like it began, with another slow, experimental track that doesn’t do anything for me. The album is kind of like a sandwich, I guess. Who cares about the two pieces of bread on the outside? It’s the good stuff in the middle that’s most important. The album starts and ends weakly, but the tracks in the middle are great. Sure, there are a few tracks thrown in the middle that I think the album could do without, but overall, I think it’s quite fantastic.

Also, the first time I listened to Present Passed, it didn’t do anything for me, but it seems that with each listen, I hear things I didn’t hear before, and each track on the album seems to get better and better. Right now I’m loving it; I really think Librarians are an extremely underrated band, one definitely worth checking out.

(Postfact Records -- 1656 Melrose St. NW, Washington, DC. 20010; http://www.postfact.com/; Librarians -- http://www.myspace.com/librarians/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, December 3rd, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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