Side Of The Fence
Self Released 2012
Once again XO Publicity sends another one of Portland's hidden alternative rock gems. I am beginning to think there is no end to the interesting bands flowing from Portland's creative wellspring. Anyways, This Side Of The Fence is a very diverse album, each song bends genres effortlessly. Dirt Isn't Dirty has a soulful foundation with hints of funk and jazz rock which take full effect on the female backup vocal chorus'. The Day Ignored The Street Signs is a light and airy composition that bounces with mirth and a toe-tapping beat. Daniel's vocals melt like butter all over your ears and the piano jam session in the middle of the track keeps the track lively. Rainy-day alterna-pop drifts in on Volcano. You can feel the nostalgia coat the lounge rock guitars like a moist drizzle. Hide and Seek is more deliberate and brutish is its meaty, plodding riffs. The moody, quickly swaying synth is a touch of inspiration for the song. Glass Slippers however slinks in with its delicate guitars and sultry beat. The layered female vocals that leap in periodically throughout the song add a sense of whimsy to this alterna-rock dance track. I can almost picture the female Spanish dancers doing their militant foot stomps to this track. It's perhaps a strange comparison but the title-track reminds me of some middle era Cure during its initial stages. An undersea sort of soundtrack. My favorite track has to be the upbeat Zombie with its They Might Be Giants meets Misfits feel. A total sing-along horror love song. Age/Sex/Occupation manages to keep a sense of unity between their songs between such a disparity of style. Part of that is Daniel's infectious vocals. But the songwriting somehow allows the band's identity to bleed through no matter the approach. This Side Of The Fence is a fun ride with a very scenic journey.