Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Quarter After - The Quarter After - 2005

Between them, singing brothers Dominic Campanella and Rob Campanella have been at least an adjunct member of just about every band in the axis between the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Beachwood Sparks and the Tyde. Unsurprisingly, the self-titled debut by their own band works that circa-'67 L.A. sound, with heavy echoes of the pre-David Axelrod the Electric Prunes, Buffalo Springfield, and various other half-forgotten exemplars of the sound, minimizing the country-rock inflections of Beachwood Sparks (only notable on the Neil Young-like "Mirror to You") or much of the slightly unhinged experimentalism of the the Brian Jonestown Massacre. For a little less than half of the album, the brothers, along with bassist David Koenig and drummer Nelson Bragg, do a pretty good pastiche of Sunset Strip psychedelia, kicking up a particularly lysergic head of steam on the self-explanatory "One Trip Later." The problem is that the other half of the album, nearly a full thirty minutes, consists of three endless acid-guitar jams that don't justify their overextended length; the most frustrating one is the nine-minute "Taken," which cooks up a good old-fashioned freight train momentum and then blows it on a flaccid and seemingly endless solo. At about four-and-a-half minutes, it would be the best song on the album, but at nine-minutes-and-16-seconds, it's a prime candidate for the forward skip button. With an editor and a bit more emphasis on Love than the Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Quarter After may really have something. -AMG

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