The Distance Formula

The Distance Formula

D=RxT Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Fifteen minutes might have been the time frame that the late Andy Warhol said we'd all be famous for, but it's sure not enough time to make a decision on whether a band has promise or not.

Take New York-based The Distance Formula and their self-titled EP. Contained on this disc are four songs, clocking in at around 15 minutes. Sure, that's enough time for me to know if I like what I'm hearing, but is it enough to make a prediction about this band's future?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

What The Distance Formula does tell me is that the band - vocalist/bassist Dakota Gallivan, guitarist/vocalist Jeff Steinhauser and drummer Bob D'Amico - remind me of a more alternative-oriented Meat Puppets if they collaborated with early R.E.M. There's enough of the jangly guitars with just enough muscle to remind the listener that these things are indeed plugged in, but there's also a more gentle approach to the music, as if going full throttle at the songs would weaken them.

In a sense, The Distance Formula is correct in their approach. Tracks like "Burning The Scotsman" (I'm sorry, but I can't get the image of Groundskeeper Willie from "The Simpsons" out of my head when I hear this one) and "Apollonia" seem to suggest that the band is indeed on the right track. The interweaving of the vocals works well, especially because it is not overused.

Yet it takes a little time for the engines to get running full steam for The Distance Formula on the track "Bandwidth". This is why I don't like basing an opinion on a small selection of music - it almost makes it sound like by the time the band hits their full stride, the disc is over. Indeed, it's almost the case... and I have the inkling that The Distance Formula is better than even what is presented in these four tracks.

More material from this band is needed before I'm ready or willing to pass any sort of judgment on them. What I can tell you is that The Distance Formula has enough material to suggest this band has promise, but it's not enough to convince me one way or the other. I've had a year to listen to this disc and mentally chew on these songs...and I still am uncertain. So, we'll rate the disc on these tracks, and hope the next thing we hear from The Distance Formula is a full-length release.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of D=RxT Records, and is used for informational purposes only.