American Analog Set Promise Of Love

[Tiger Style; 2003]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: indie rock, drone pop
Others: Galaxie 500, Stereolab, Her Space Holiday, Bedhead

Though it's tempting, I'll skip the part where I go into how fans of past American Analog Set releases will take a business-as-usual comfort in their latest LP. It seems to me there may be a good many readers out there who've never heard of this band, or aren't familiar with what a 'farfisa' is. So from henceforth, this is review for those 'not in the know'. Do you like soft midrange male vocals singing simplistic tomes on human interrelations? How about vibes? If not, you might want to look elsewhere. If you're still with me, let me elaborate. AmAnSet takes you to a place that's decidedly relaxed, but a little seething in its lullaby mode. The drums are mixed nicely and up front while contrapuntal melodies ride the rhythm reassuringly. This is safe music. More wistful than melancholic, far from experimental, and charmingly understated production-wise. They're something for those of us who like our punk rock but need occasional thoughtful respite when our nerves are fried. That said, this album is not without its hooks. "Come Home, Baby Julie Come Home" and "Fool Around" in particular have been rolling around in my noggin' a lot. The latter sounds like a power pop punk ditty with enough restraint to make it something completely American Analog Set. The former is a simple love ballad that hits upon their resolutely forlorn aesthetic in fine style. Rather than burst into a triumphant chorus, these songs revel in the loving repetition of a crystalline melody. In short, if you want some good unobtrusive background music, give Promise of Love a try. It's distinctive and inviting, or decidedly unmoving depending on your mood. (A farfisa is a type of outdated organ, I think.)

1. Continuous Hit Music
2. Hard to Find
3. Come Home Baby Julie, Come Home
4. You Own Me
5. Promise of Love
6. The Hatist
7. Fool Around
8. Modern Drummer