Author: Jory Carroll

Mike Moran
Underneath This Tree
Self-Released
Street Date: 08.03.12
Mike Moran = L’Anarchiste + Pinback
This album from local musician Mike Moran contains a dense amount of indie/folk instrumentation, but Moran’s great attention to detail seems to do a disservice to his songs. Along with the thin, distorted vocals, there are a lot of small accents mixed throughout each song, such as guitar noodling, which add some different flavors to the songs, but fail to catch your ears overall. The majority of the tunes lack a sense of direction, and come off a bit dull. This album would likely sound better stripped down, without all of the shiny and polished effects, as well as with some more emotion from Moran’s singing. However, despite what it lacks, Underneath This Tree does manage to show off Moran’s songwriting ability

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The Arcadians
No More Nightmares
Monotone Records
Street: 11.03.12
The Arcadians = Fictionist + Fleet Foxes
After releasing an EP earlier this summer, this Provo-based indie band is back again with a 10-track album, No More Nightmares. Like a lot of indie bands these days, The Arcadians follow a trend of putting less focus on song melodies, keeping the spotlight on vocals, along with simple chord changes and guitar riffs. Most of the tunes on the album lean toward the pop-rock style, but there are some occasional hints of indie flair. One of the tracks that stood out was “Brick and Mortar,” which caught my ear first with a heavy organ howling in the background, and then again with a nice guitar solo near the end. The music scene in Provo continues to grow and thrive, and The Arcadians are just another piece to the puzzle. No More Nightmares shows the band taking a step forward in a promising direction.

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Zombie Book Club
Self-Titled
Self-Released
Street: 10.31.12
Zombie Book Club = The Black Keys + Max Pain & the Groovies
This local duo still has a ways to go to catch up with Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, but nonetheless, this debut album features some decent zombie tunes, if that’s your kind of thing. The band is made up of Zombie Thunder and Zombie Lightning, the monikers of Sean McKay and Willy Weyher, respectively, and features stripped-down blues, in the same fashion made popular by The Black Keys and The White Stripes. The recording is a bit primitive and unpolished, likely the result of a DIY approach, which makes the drums sound a bit subdued and thin. Overall, though, this album is a noble debut and will keep you entertained. If you’re interested in checking this album out, it’s available at Raunch Records

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The Arcadians
No More Nightmares
Monotone Records
Street: 11.03.12
The Arcadians = Fictionist + Local Natives
My biggest complaint about this debut album from Provo group The Arcadians is that it lacks originality. The band has a pretty sound overall, with a lot of the focus on the vocals, but there is not a lot of substance to latch on to. However, there are some bright spots on the record, such as the song “Brick and Mortar,” which features a heavy organ sound, and some great guitar playing as well. There are also some nice vocal harmonies throughout the record, which add some depth to the sound. The songs sound nice and shiny, and it’s clear that there are some talented musicians involved here, but I found that the tunes were a bit repetitive in nature, and as an album overall, it failed to get into any kind of groove or flow.

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Color Animal
Vision Lies
Self-Released
Street: 12.21.12
Color Animal = Grizzly Bear + Allah-Las
After covering Color Animal for July’s edition of Localized, at which point in time they had not recorded anything yet, I was eager to hear their debut album. Despite having to wait a few extra months, this seven-song mini-LP with a great blend of psychedelic and garage/surf rock was worth it. The opening track, “That’s A Drag,” is a catchy surf-rock tune with some nice, fuzzed-out guitar sounds from Nick Neihart and Andrew Shaw—who also has a good set of pipes that fit the band’s sound perfectly. Another highlight from the album is the title track, “Vision Lies,” which almost sounds like it came from the mind of Ed Droste. Although Color Animal’s a great band to see live, it’s nice to hear some stuff from the studio, and I highly recommend you seek this record out.

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