Houston Calling

Review: Basement Apartment, Pine Tree Hill

October 11th, 2007 · No Comments

Basement Apartment
Pine Tree Hill
Mpls Ltd

On “Kicking The Can,” perhaps Basement Apartment’s finest work to date, Minneapolis musician Vince Caro evokes the same somber mood as much of Wilco’s recent Sky Blue Sky. The song’s light guitars and orchestration teem with a dedication to summery pop (as did the band’s stellar 2004 release, Transistor!), but Pine Tree Hill presents a slightly more mature band. While Transistor! was a decidedly poppy affair, Basement Apartment’s latest–while not stripped down–has a more organic feel that gives listeners insight into the band’s varied styles.

This variety occasionally detracts from the album’s overall flow, however. Basement Apartment relies too heavily on Caro’s influences, and rather than letting their own sound peek through, the band takes genre-hopping to a new level. “Intact” pays homage to early 80s R.E.M., “Cheap Thrill” apes Mazzy Star, and “Vegas Streets,” in which the band toys with electronics and fuzzed-out vocals, instantly brings to mind California pop circa 1966. Overall, however, the band’s coat-tailing is a small crime and Pine Tree Hill is a study in contrasts–one that easily earns its spot as one of the year’s most melodic releases. –David A. Cobb

Tags: Music · Reviews

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