August 25, 2003
STATISTICS [I]STATISTICS[/I] REVIEW
I think the requirement for being a musician in Omaha, Nebraska is that you perform with at least two bands. Tim Kasher has Cursive and The Good Life, Ted Stevens has Cursive and Mayday, Conor Oberst has Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos, and now Denver Dalley, guitarist for the aforementioned Desaparecidos, has his own project, Statistics. It’s lucky for us that the Midwest breeds such prolific and inspired musicians, because there’s no shortage of quality music coming out of Omaha. And I think the world is always ready for a new musician on the scene, in this case Dalley and his self-titled EP.
It’s possible to hear hints of many other Omaha bands in Statistics, including Cursive’s emo-style rock, Mayday’s more folk material, and The Faint’s electronics. But somehow, Statistics doesn’t really sound like any of those, and this EP similarly doesn’t sound like a Desaperacidos rip-off. Five short songs in 15 minutes combine Dalley’s guitar prowess with his slick vocals, emo-style lyrics, and electronic moments to create something that’s catchy, slick, and quite promising. And live percussion added by Mike Sweeney (also an Omaha standby) helps flesh out some of the synthesized beats.
“Another Day” starts off with up-tempo guitars and fuzzed-out electronic keyboards, all under a very rock beat, before drifting into a catchy, hooky pop song that evokes images of The Jealous Sound. The electronic samples – providing a kind of hip-hop beat – provides a surprisingly soothing background to the acoustic guitars of “(A Memory),” and the pure hooks on “Hours Seemed Like Days” make the song irresistible, as much Texas is the Reason as Sugar. It’s a short, sub-three-minute song sure to grace many a mix-tape to come. All of the electronic beats, keyboards, and samples are piled onto the closer, “Cure Me,” which does evoke some similarities to a darker, gothic-style band (think Depeche Mode, perhaps), only Dalley’s acoustic guitar and soft (if distorted) vocals ground the song nicely.
You can’t really tell much about a musician or band from a debut EP; often they’re copping styles they’ve played before or heard before. The debut full-length is the real measure of worth, and a full-length from Statistics is due late this year. But if this EP is any indication, it’s going to be good. The electro-pop foundation for Statistics, coupled with nice vocals and strong guitarwork, promise something fresh and exciting. Don’t be fooled, however. All the electronics used here doesn’t mean this is something akin to The Faint or New Order; there’s no new- or no-wave to Statistics. This is pop music with a fresh approach, and I am buying into it wholeheartedly.
Delusions of Adequacy
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