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July 8, 2004

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David Bazan has made an impressive album in Achilles Heel. I can't help but think of two other artists, one being Evan Dando and the other being Mark Eitzel. With these comparisons out in the open, let me clarify that it is just David's vocals that remind me of these two singer/songwriters. David's music tends to be a lot more diverse than either Evan's or Mark's. It's been a while since I've checked in with Pedro the Lion, around Winners Never Quit stages. The album starts out with the lilting "Bands With Managers", one that sounds like Mark's American Music Club. It's "Forgone Conclusions" where David starts resembling the Lemonheads a little. It's a great song that is a little more inspiring. This is one of those albums that makes me want to pick up the guitar and learn a few songs again. Call them modern day torch songs but they would go great with just an acoustic guitar and vocals. One of the more aggressive songs on Achilles Heel is the chunky "Keep Swinging", it's bright and catchy. Another one along this line is "A Simple Plan". I have to say that Achilles Heel is miles above Winners Never Quit. The songs seem so much more invigorating and inspiring. Bazan's vocals are bright while coming across completely modest. I recommend Achilles Heel.

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Dennis Scanland