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Review: To Be A High-Powered Executive, We Don’t Want It Safe, We Want It Secret

November 25th, 2007 · 1 Comment

To Be A High-Powered Executive
We Don’t Want It Safe, We Want It Secret
Ropeadope Digital

The beauty of instrumental music is in its variety. From jazz to progressive rock to what’s often termed “post rock,” bands that form over a love of the art–not some half-assed message–are those that are often the most memorable. Ohio’s To Be A High-Powered Executive stand out among the veritable glut of modern instrumental indie rock bands in that they maintain a solidly slow groove that propels their songs into sometimes darker territory than that of the better-known Mogwai or Explosions In The Sky. While undoubtedly similar, they don’t take the aggressive route of rockers Isis or Pelican or rigidly stick to what’s now a traditional formula for this type of music. Instead, the songs on We Don’t Want It Safe, We Want It Secret mesh melody with stripped-down substance (“And The Trees Became Chairs”), epic and sweeping soundscapes (the 11-minute “They Gaped, They Gasped, They Stared”), and a solid sense of pop (“Consumation,” and opener “Building the Fort,” which introduces listeners to the band’s liberal use of synthesizers). Thankfully, To Be A High-Powered Executive seem to know exactly when to change things up and the album’s varying moods and tempos take listeners on a journey–which is what instrumental rock albums are supposed to do. We Don’t Want It Safe, We Want It Secret is an impressive debut that ranks among the year’s best. —David A. Cobb

Buy it and download at Ropeadope Records, emusic, iTunes, and Amazon.

Tags: Music · Reviews

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 bcd // Nov 26, 2007 at 11:47 am

    “They Gaped, They Gasped, They Stared” – easily up for Song of the Year…. and i agree, the synth on “Building the Fort” is poppy and catchy and provides a great hook against the backdrop of what some would call “drone rock”. heh. sorry H.

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