Since My House Burned Down, I Now Own A Better View Of The Rising Moon


Victory, 2007

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


When you finally become comfortable, you tend to not be as critical of your surroundings. You sit in your favorite recliner and you don't notice the slight tear in the fabric. What used to bug you about your spouse doesn't as much anymore. You begin to accept these flaws as part of your life (and you realize your spouse is still the total package that rocks your world emotionally, spiritually and in every other way imaginable).

So when you listen to 1997, it would be easy to be comfortable with this band because they seem, on the surface, to be just another alternative band. It's a genre that barely exists now; it's at the point where a band with a ridiculous album title is forgiven (it's a haiku) and the cover art is predictably offbeat. In this case, it looks hand-drawn, which indicates the artist probably has a lot of stories to tell; think the Stinky Puffs (or better yet, don't, and just trust me on that). my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Based on this, it's easy to think that the music within will be alternative and still comfortable. Fortunately, the bands that break the mold come along every so often, and 1997 is one of them.

Here, we have a band that has assembled the best lyrics, the best musical ideas and the best performance in the genre in some time. Vocalists Kevin Thomas and keyboardist/vocalist Kerri Mack sing perfectly together. Sometimes, Thomas is the lead vocalist and Mack's role is to add harmonies and additional layers to the melody. Other tracks are the inverse of that arrangement, yet both are compelling singers.

There is not a single filler track and all songs have strong lyrics. The poetry in "Garden of Evil," the heart-wrenching story of a separation between child and parent in "Dropping Dimes" and, my personal favorite, "Tennessee Song" -- all of these are exhilarating to the ear and unquestionable examples of talent in a failing music industry.

The lyrics "I know there's no angel watching over me / all I have to hold is this atlas and a note that reads / 'If ever you are ready to come home again, I'll be waiting up / but please don't be too long" get me every time with the honesty. It's a conditional love vs. unconditional love, that "I will love you but only if you meet my request feeling" that we sometimes, against our will, seem to have.

This is exactly the type of release you have been searching for to soothe your desire for a new alternative band that feels comfortable and yet refuses to take advantage of your feeling that way by releasing shoddy material.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2007 Paul Hanson 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 Victory, and is used for informational purposes only.