Quick Review (LP): Moment Bends by Architecture In Helsinki

Architecture In Helsinki
Moment Bends
Modular; 2011

My Rating: C (46/100)

Best Tracks: "Desert Island", "W.O.W.", "That Beep"

Electro-pop as an affective disorder.

NOTES
– Their last album, Places Like This, was pretty good. There was a really nice punk-ish sound there.
– A little more pleasant here, not quite as abrasive.
– "W.O.W." is very nice. Very 80’s, reminiscent of a Cyndi Lauper ballad.
– Poppy, but seems a little vacuous. Where’s the beef?
– I’m sure I’m not the first to realize that these guys are basically a tropics-pop version of The Arcade Fire. Broken Social Scene with a lot more sunshine.
– FWIW, the breakdown in "That Beep" reminds me of the bass-voice Geddy Lee in "Roll The Bones."
– Despite the sheening pop sound, this one is a blah-fest. Check out the tracks I mention, ditch the rest.
Pitchfork was pretty generous to this one. I didn’t find it so deserving. Hope they recover some of the riotous energy and off-the-wall creativity of “Hold Music” and “Heart It Races” next time.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (4/5)
Concept (3/5)
Consistency (3/5)
Consequence (3/5)
Songs (3.5/5)

The Fire Theft: The Fire Theft (2003)

The Fire Theft
The Fire Theft; 2003
Rykodisc
My Rating: 83/100
You can’t really blame the Sunny Day Part Deux trio of Enigk/Hoerner/Goldsmith for splitting after THE RISING TIDE. While that album had a few brilliant moments, overall it was a mess of genre-synthesis gone bad. Kudos for trying, but the band just couldn’t find a happy medium between their emo roots and their prog leanings. The great news is that the Sunny Day Part Tre trio of Enigk/Mendel/Goldsmith (aka The Fire Theft) found an excellent way ahead on their 2003 debut, abandoning emo all together and creating a sublime piece of prog majesty. Once heard in the right context (“Chain”, “Heaven”), Enigk’s voice is a no-brainer for prog, nuzzling itself into the happy medium between Peter Gabriel and Geddy Lee. The abandonment of punk tempos hasn’t left the music boring either, as the band’s instrumental chops are still firmly intact. But it’s the songs that really stand out for The Fire Theft. From the aggressive and soaring “Chain” to the gorgeous, piano-based “Summertime,” it’s exceptionally rewarding to see a group of musicians with so much water under the bridge find so many new ways forward. Sunny Day Real Estate reunions aside, I find myself in the small camp of those thirsting for a follow-up from The Fire Theft.
Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (4/5)
Consequence (4.5/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)
Tracks:
1. Uncle Mountain (3.5/5)
2. Waste Time Segue
3. Oceans Apart (4/5)
4. Chain (5/5)
5. Backward Blues
6. Summertime (5/5)
7. Houses (5/5)
8. Waste Time (5/5)
9. Heaven (5/5)
10. Rubber Bands (4/5)
11. It’s Over (5/5)
12. Carry You (5/5)
13. Sinatra (4/5)

FiretheftThe Fire Theft
The Fire Theft; 2003
Rykodisc

My Rating: 83/100

You can’t really blame the Sunny Day Part Deux trio of Enigk/Hoerner/Goldsmith for splitting after THE RISING TIDE. While that album had a few brilliant moments, overall it was a mess of genre-synthesis gone bad. Kudos for trying, but the band just couldn’t find a happy medium between their emo roots and their prog leanings. The great news is that the Sunny Day Part Tre trio of Enigk/Mendel/Goldsmith (aka The Fire Theft) found an excellent way ahead on their 2003 debut, abandoning emo all together and creating a sublime piece of prog majesty. Once heard in the right context (“Chain”, “Heaven”), Enigk’s voice is a no-brainer for prog, nuzzling itself into the happy medium between Peter Gabriel and Geddy Lee. The abandonment of punk tempos hasn’t left the music boring either, as the band’s instrumental chops are still firmly intact. But it’s the songs that really stand out for The Fire Theft. From the aggressive and soaring “Chain” to the gorgeous, piano-based “Summertime,” it’s exceptionally rewarding to see a group of musicians with so much water under the bridge find so many new ways forward. Sunny Day Real Estate reunions aside, I find myself in the small camp of those thirsting for a follow-up from The Fire Theft.

Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (4/5)
Consequence (4.5/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)

Tracks:

1. Uncle Mountain (3.5/5)
2. Waste Time Segue
3. Oceans Apart (4/5)
4. Chain (5/5)
5. Backward Blues
6. Summertime (5/5)
7. Houses (5/5)
8. Waste Time (5/5)
9. Heaven (5/5)
10. Rubber Bands (4/5)
11. It’s Over (5/5)
12. Carry You (5/5)
13. Sinatra (4/5)