The Standard August

[Touch & Go; 2002]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: indie rock
Others: Pinehurst Kids, Radiohead, Pink Floyd

August is one of the most defining months of the year. It marks the end of summer, one that was likely filled with love, hate, jealousy, revenge, retaliation, and vengeance. And through it all, the closest of friends were there by your side. However, August also marks the time when you are forced to say goodbye, whether it's because your internship is ending, your friends are heading back to college, or you're moving because your dad-- an optometrist-- accepted a job in Florida.

These goodbyes are often difficult-- not only because you won’t see that friend for an extended period of time, but because the final parting is always so fucking cheesy: "Well, honestly, I’m no good at goodbyes, so let’s just let the summer speak for itself," as you stumble in your car and drive into the tangerine sunset. Sniff. Sniff. It's a ritual that has been hackneyed by the Hollywood industry; you feel like you’re in a Meg Ryan film-- a Billy Crystal film, at best. Whether or not the five men of The Standard were aware of the power of August, they sure made an album that siphons all the emotions of the summer, including the cheesy goodbyes.

Like a Lemonhead, August-the-album does its share of “sucking” before passing the sour and turning undeniably sweet. Sure, you may have to sit through some rather weak moments to get there, but it somehow seems worth it in the end. Besides, who would want a Lemonhead without the sour covering? “When Everything Went North” is a prime example: the song waddles in near prog-rock terrain, but before you know it, the song morphs into a minimally constructed instrumental (of course, the instrumental builds to an even cheesier outro, but there’s always the rewind/forward button).

After 45 minutes of continuous Lemonheads, you’ll realize August is really not so bad. The album is perfect for those nostalgic moments in October when you think back upon those magical months of the summer. Sure, the goodbye was cheesy, but it serves as a good indication that you had a good time, and it won’t let you forget the fun moments had. Besides, you probably saw each other online as soon as you were both hooked to the Internet again.

1. A Year of Seconds
2. The Five-Factor Model
3. Three Line
4. Angelicate
5. Bells to the Boxer
6. Paper
7. Behind the Scenes
8. When Everything Went North
9. The Quiet Bar