The Movies
American Oil [CS; Spring Break Tapes]

Remember The Movies? If you don’t remember them from a decade ago when the California troupe was doing it’s thang, then at the very least you should remember that I wrote about the reissue of their debut, right? Because you, dear readers, read every single word that I write. Right? Right. Ok, didn’t mean to make that awkward there, but hey, listen up! Pay attention! This band was real good, see, and the wonderful Spring Break Tapes has made it a mission to let every boy and girl know just how good, hence we have the 2nd album from The Movies lovingly repackaged on a cassette tape with awesome landscaped album art in tow. While not as good as its predecessor, missing just a touch of that record’s built-in sweetness and melodic charm, American Oil still finds many moments of indie-pop brilliance — peppy drums drive the bus while punchy keys and strolling bass lines riff on some repeating rockers and singer Timothy James rambles on about the fact that he is Timothy James, being broke, forgetting lyrics, learning how to drive(?)… I guess not a whole lot in general. But his lyrical apathy, when matched with that belligerent bark of his, pulls and strains the tight seams of the band’s music to give everything an added tension missing from some of the more vanilla rock that was coming out around the same time (that’s 2005, by the way). Recorded by Phil Manley of Trans Am, too. Even if someone wanted to call this a “sophomore slump” when it came out, today it serves as an essential chapter in the story of the band you should’a been there for, man.


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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