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Independent Clauses
Almost Always

Be Scene, Not Heard

Not much here, but there is some.

Good, pure indie rock is hard to come by. Everyone wants to sound different, involve influences, make something new, and find something that makes them 'unique'. It's become so pandemic that straight indie rock is virtually forgotten about.

But Almost Always hasn't forgotten. They craft slick, streamlined indie rock with no frills. It's not stark or empty, just without excess clutter. If there's a piano melody in the song, it serves a specific purpose and it flows perfectly. "Haley", their central song, features an intro that is one of the most melancholy sections on the album. In the long intro, they feature a sparse arrangement, but each subdued piece of it is put together in such a way that without the other parts, it just wouldn't work. This whole album is woven together in that impressive way. There are some great guitar lines here as well ("Blueprint of a Glass Heart", for example), but what really makes this work is the intricate, seamless warmth that emanates from this. From the first note of "Your Eternity" to the end of "9 Months of Fun on the Eastern Shore", they construct a consistent, interesting album.

Reason to buy: Warm, intimate, beautiful arrangements.
Genre: Indie Rock
Label: N/a.
Website: www.almost-always.com

That's not to say it's without fault. The vocals grate on the ears sometimes, as in "Save Your Receipts" and "Wilmington". In fact, other than an excellent guitar riff buried in the middle of "Wilmington", the song is pretty much a waste. But there are enough great songs here to override those few that err, especially "Blueprint of a Glass Heart".

All in all, this is a great indie rock cd. It's always refreshing to hear a breath of fresh air into indie rock, a genre thats going stale. Almost Always has the formula for a great song almost always. They just need to mature some more and fine-tune their sound.