Arson Car = R.E.M. + The Continentals + Smashing Pumpkins (pre 1996)
As much as Arson Car would probably like to be revered as an eclectic indie-rock band with a lot of their Provo peers, the truth is their music feels more like a 90s throwback to the college-radio days. The vocals are an immediate giveaway, as if in adulation to Michael Stipe circa R.E.M.’s Reckoning album—they come across haunting and passionate with a sense of frailty. They almost contrast the arrangements, which sound perfected a dozen times over, everything is synched to the drummer’s beat and never wanders away from the rhythm. While melodic and lively in nature, you cannot shake the thought that Arson Car just didn’t take any chances with this release. They created an album by the numbers. Indie audiences will probably love it—however, Vestiges doesn’t stand out from the rest.