January 20, 2004
STATISTICS [I]LEAVE YOUR NAME[/I] REVIEW
Take Desaparecidos and subtract all the sharp edges - Take a file and round off the corners so that they don't cut as you pass by them in the hallway. That's what Statistics is. Denver Dalley has a knack for crafting brilliant indie rock that stands up easily to his other project, the aforementioned Desaparecidos, without the gritty, hard-to-listen-to-for-any-amount-of-time parts. But make no mistake, Dalley rocks just as hard on his own.
Statistics blends keyboards into the mix, and concentrates more on crafting songs of depth and interest, which reduces the sonic ambivalence found in so much of Desaparecidos' music. The rhythms here are more intricate and engaging. The melodies more skillfully crafted. The guitars more full bodied and transfixing. The songs are full of feeling and primitive desire. "The Grass Is Always Greener" is an example of a sublime song that begins with lulling pads and jangling guitars, only to build into a frenzy of emotion and carefully controlled noise, which slowly fades, leaving only a brilliant drum loop playing. "Hours Seemed Like Days" runs the gamut of expression (like so many of these songs), but relies almost entirely on a more pure rock guitar to carry the song to its conclusion, recalling some of the finer moments of Bob Mould's career. "It used to be that hours seemed like days/ let's go back in time/It used to be that hours seemed like days/ let's just press rewind." These are the remnants of emo at their very best. The songs blend together seamlessly, negating the normal effect produced by a collection of songs of shorter length. Rather, Leave Your Name feels like a whole; complete in its sincerity and magnificence.
Everything about Statistics makes me wonder why Dalley spends his time playing in other projects. Perhaps it's just that he needs to be involved in something not so beautiful to turn around and create something of such beauty. A Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde sort of thing. Yin and Yang. Balance.
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