Jeff Elliott


I don’t know much about pop-punk. In fact, the last known memory of me actually enjoying the genre is Fall Out Boy’s 2003 release Take This to Your Grave (you know, before the members had recurring roles on One Tree Hill). But, alas, I grew up and my ears developed an affinity for indie-folk instead.

Albeit irritating at times, a review tainted with comparisons is a review (generally) well comprehended. And while I spend most of my listening time trying to not make ignorant associations, my disciplined ear has been known to digress. I will scold myself later for beginning this review by acknowledging the fact that Vanaprasta, the wholly American, indie-rock quintet from L.A., sounds a helluva lot like Kings of Leon. I can’t help it though, my honesty forces me to make cliché comparisons that are apparent to anyone who tuned into a radio station during the twelve months of 2008.

I’ve been planning an epic road trip across North America in my head since high school. Of course, my daydreaming stems from that scene in Elizabethtown when Orlando Bloom is given that diligent playlist for the road, with every Tom Petty song meticulously mapped to specific intersections.

My friend and I compiled a list of strut songs one summer. These so-called ‘strut songs’ all sound rather different, but rely on one definitive aspect: a stellar underlying beat that you can’t help but walk in cadence with. Simply turn your volume to max capacity, zone in on it, and let your body act accordingly.

I was given a fine piece of advice once: when critiquing anybody’s work, strike with the bad and use a handful of praise to clean up the mess. The problem with critiquing Pony Up’s 2006 release Make Love to the Judges With Your Eyes, is that the sweeping can’t be done with just a handful of praise – it requires a smidge more. The Montreal quartet was young when the album was released, and their naivety is as apparent as their unwavering theme of lo-fi mediocrity.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I stumble into an Irish pub 30 minutes before last call, the night tends to unfold in a certain, spectacular order. With a pint in each hand, it’s customary for me to rant, roar, and shamelessly hop around the dance floor to a slew of Irish drinking songs. If you can’t relate, don’t fret. Take a listen to Damion Suomi and The Minor Prophets’ debut Go, And Sell All Of Your Things and imagine yourself in this exact scenario – essentially, it emits the same feeling.