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The New Year, The New Year

Album Review


Published October 8, 2008 at 5:01 a.m.

The New Year
  • The New Year

It has been almost 10 years since the demise of wildly popular soft-core rockers Bedhead. I think its safe to say that brothers Matt and Bubba Kandane have aptly assuaged the bewails of their fans with their not-so-new, new band, The New Year.

The Texas-born brothers’ self-titled third release was four years in the making and well worth the wait. The New Year seeps with polyphonic melancholy for the 21st century. Unlike many of their peers in the genre, their layered sound is void of any artificial insemination from electronics, effects and ambient noise, thus maintaining some of Bedhead’s soft-core integrity. The band has undergone a number of lineup changes since its inception in 1999. But the Kandane brothers’ penchant for the three-guitar format has remained a constant.

After a very brief analysis of the band’s catalog, one will notice their tight cling to a handful of thematic elements, beginning with 2001’s Newness Ends, 2004’s The End Is Near and ending with their latest offering. While solemnity is lyrically predominant, it is tastefully done and completely identifiable. Their signature capacious arrangements and clever lyrics go a long way when it comes to keepin’ it light. It’s hard not to crack a smile during the piano ballad “The Company I Can Get.” Here a Kandane — it’s unclear which one, but since Matt plays the piano, we’ll assume it’s him — laments his deep need for socialization with somebody, anybody, to keep himself from driving off the road and . . . well, you know. It’s indie rock. Anyway, the lyrics: “God knows I wouldn’t/ I need all the company I can get/ even that redneck/ in the red corvette.”

The New Year’s ten tracks read like a book. And it is a quick read. A concise tale of situational reflection, wanton desires and hopes for the future, half of which are built around the piano. Marked by crescendoing melodies that erupt into anthems and end abruptly, like chapter–ending cliffhangers that are quickly satiated by the next track. It is a beautiful record, carefully crafted and perfect for a walk across town on a drizzly day.

The New Year visit Club Metronome this Monday and seem fit to make good use of our beloved downtown rock room.