Monday, April 25, 2011

'Knows Your Sins' by The Underground Railroad To Candyland

By Jason Duarte
Rating: 4/5
Recess Records CD/LP

San Pedro, CA's Todd Congelliere (Toys That Kill, F.Y.P., Stoned At Heart) not only fronts Underground Railroad To Candyland as well as the aforementioned groups, but he'll be putting out his band's new record April 26th via his label, Recess Records. Where do I start with this band...the first time I heard URTC's first record, Bird Roughs, I thought it was really, really weird. It was just a kooky, progressively jumpy album with songs that didn't really make sense to me. But the more I listened to it, the more I fell in love. I saw the band live a couple of times and really got a feel for what they're all about - pretty much having fun and partying and not taking yourself too seriously. Then it all clicked and the senseless made sense all of a sudden. That being said, when the opportunity to review Knows Your Sins came along, I jumped, much like their backup singer, Jack Blast does during the band's live performance.
"That I Dunno" and "Jimmy V" are the first two tracks - and arguably the best on the record. They pick up right where "Bird Roughs" left off. The similar progressive, minimalist sort of strumming and drums beats ease you into the album. Then "Jimmy V" comes in - more upbeat and more progressive - the lyrics are more attention-grabbing. The chorus is a bit catchier. I'm already pulled in an bobbing my head and tapping my feet. It's that kind of record, but I didn't know I was doing it already.
The production and recording and mastering and all that stuff is way better on Knows Your Sins than Bird Roughs. The more I listen to this album, the more it grows on me, much like their first one. It was like having to go through all that, "Do I really want to keep listening to this record?" stuff all over again, which was interesting. Usually, I latch onto a band once I know them, but URTC keeps it interesting. They are relatively the same as they were on Bird Roughs; I mean, not much has changed at all. It's very upbeat and catchy - but this new one is different in that it's broken up a bit by an instrumental track, "Run! Chicken! Run!" and a 0:45 clip track titled, "Animals-30 Seconds." Not really sure what this one is referring to (as you know from Bird Roughs, there's an audio clip of the famous "I Like Turtles" YouTube video sensation).
All in all, URTC has brought us another fun-filled album filled with quirkiness, lingering, upbeat melodies and the stuff that they do best. Keep crankin' 'em out, Todd.

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