Monday, June 22, 2009

The Fire Marshals of Bethlehem - Songs for Housework - 2005


The Fire Marshals of Bethlehem are the best band to come out of Texas since the True Believers in 1985, melodic, intelligent, near-perfect pop/rock. This is certainly the most significant Texas release of the '00s. The F-Mob, as their fans are starting to call them, are the first new band in nearly 15 years featuring John Croslin, the singer/guitarist/songwriter of Austin's beloved Zeitgeist/The Reivers, who made several landmark albums in the '80s. He'd considered himself retired for years, moving to California and producing records for acts like Pavement, Guided By Voices, Waylon Jennings & the Old 97s, The Damnations TX, and The Wannabes. Now back in Austin, he hooked up with sultry vocalist Julie Lowery, David Mider of Javelin Boot, and Kevin Carney & Hunter Darby from one of Austin's best post-Replacements, post-True Believers, post-Zeitgeist pop/rock bands, The Wannabes. The resulting album is magnificent. The sound is a smooth, soothing mix of harmonic jangle. With Jenny Smith's violin adding lovely warm color to the proceedings, the album has AAA radio written all over it. The lead-off track "Rock For Your Pockets" is perhaps the most reminiscent of Zeitgeist, and the most immediately catchy track on the album. With four songwriters in the band, you'd expect to be able to tell the songs apart by songwriter, but personally, after having an advance of the album for five months, it all sounds remarkably like the work of one writer to me -- a real unified band sound. "Crazy" and "Please Don't Worry" have hit single potential written all over them. Songs For Housework, on the other hand, as I write this in February, is clearly the album to beat for my favorite album of 2005.- Kent H. Benjamin • Pop Culture Press



The Fire Marshals of Bethlehem - Songs for Housework - 2005/rs
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1 comment:

korralhex said...

Thanks, I put a link in my blog
http://whenyoufindout.blogspot.com/

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