Posted by: will | September 28, 2006

Hi Red Center…

Hi Red Center “Architectural Failures” (Pangaea Recordings)

Buy it at Insound!

One thing I have learned in my brief time in writing music reviews is to NEVER write about something after your first listen…no matter how much you love it or hate it. If I would have done this for Hi Red Center’s Architectural Failures it would have gone a little something like this: A completely incoherent record that the band must have recorded spontaneously in one drunken afternoon. And quite frankly, that would have been an extremely harsh and unfair review because after spending time with this record it sounds completely different to me.

Hi Red Center are doing something unique on Architectural Failures. The band’s music is poppy while being completely noisy at times. It’s dischordant and disjointed but there’s only a few points where you feel the band actually loses their direction. The band mixes together a crazy mixture of styles and for the most part it works rather well. “Red/Green” is an excellent opener as the indie pop vocals float above the band’s more noisy tendencies. This band could be the perfect marriage for fans of experimental rock. It touches all bases from the noiser side of bands like Deerhoof to the more pop-oriented sounds of bands like Aloha. On “Hollow Buttons”, the band eschews their louder side for a more atmospheric approach and it serves as a nice interlude for the album. There are definitely songs here like “Alarm Will Sound” that could use more work and the album as a whole could certainly use a little more quality control. The vocals sometimes drag the tracks down as well, like on “Eureka”, for example. But, they have the opposite effect at other times. On the album closer, “Bunnies Are Full Of Magic”, the vocals fall in line quite perfectly under the breezy atmospheres of the music.

This is certainly a nice under the radar indie release here. Architectural Failures isn’t quite there yet but it has its share of highlights. Give this Brooklyn band a few more years and a little more focus and I think they just might have an incredible record in store for us all.

RIYL: Deerhoof, Tortoise, Aloha

Listen:

Hi Red Center – Magic Teeth (mp3)

Hi Red Center – Red/Green (mp3)

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