Call it indie rock, or call it power pop; however you label it, Open Choir Fire‘s new LP, Dirt Bathed And Quilted is flat out good. There’s an unquestionable 90s influence focused primarily on the Northwest region, which is no surprise as the band hails from Seattle. “Killing The Messenger” is a hard-hitting rocker, while its successors in “Big Regret” and “You Should Take The Bus” take it down a notch but are no less intricate, powerful or yes, even sophisticated.
Yeah, it includes several 90s signatures, from the early, pre-mainstream emo songwriting style of greats like Sunny Day Real Estate and Braid, influences that extend into the Midwest and straight to D.C. Other songs drop in hints of that whole feedback thing that became so popular in grunge (I’m thinking of you, “What Is This Wrath Coming From Above?”). “Get In Line” and “I Stay Real Quiet” have that same qualitative influence, from the guitar riff consistency of early Appleseed Cast to the vocal harmony of that era sans its whiny nature. And there are references I know but cannot place elsewhere, like in “Righty-O”.
This record does two things. On one hand, it makes you want to rummage through your collection and dust off those old 90s rockers (I even dug an old LP out of my collection and threw it on the turntable — A Lull In Traffic by The Gloria Record on red wax) and live in nostalgia for a few days. On the other, well… it merely warrants the pressing of the “repeat” button.
Open Choir Fire: You Should Take The Bus [mp3]
[audio:http://fensepost.com/main/audio/091012-open_choir_fire-you_should_take_the_bus.mp3|titles=You Should Take The Bus|artists=Open Choir Fire]
1. Killing The Messenger
2. Big Regret
3. You Should Take The Bus
4. It’s Love, It’s Hard
5. What Is This Wrath Coming From Above?
6. Get In Line
8. I Stay Real Quiet
9. A Vow of Poverty a Million Generations Couldn’t Fix
11. It Won’t Always Be Like This