Wobbleshop Bittergreen

[Creative Engine; 2000]

Rating: 1.5/5

Styles: rock, alternative rock
Others:  none

Wobbleshop consists of Brian Holmes and Levi Nunez, two obviously talented musicians based in the suburbs of Southern California. They produce radio-friendly folk/pop with a country touch, yet they still rock...go figure. Bittergreen mainly comprises guitar-driven rock, rife with tasteful melodies and harmonies that complement each other nicely.

Holmes' and Nunez's voices are the most entertaining part of the album, keeping them a step ahead from the other bands in their genre. Although Wobbleshop is a duo, the band's sound is still thick. Drums provide the lifeblood on most of the tracks, as the duo's tight musicianship weaves keyboards, accordions, percussion, and even slide guitar into the carefully constructed pop tunes.

Unfortunately, this careful construction is where the album falls short. The songs are so tight that at times, intensity and emotion are hard to feel and the album lacks spontaneity and freedom. Also, the production is so slick that a boy band would not be ashamed to call this album their own. But worry not, Wobbleshop far surpasses boy band status and writes some really beautiful songs on here.  "Freestyle," "Goodnight Children" and "Your Last Bite" are among the more innovative and heartfelt songs that kept my attention.

The rest of the songs are somewhat questionable in their originality quotient, most coasting along on the standard verse/chorus/verse structure. Wobbleshop certainly has the talent to create more engaging songs, though their current lack of variety and originality provides a small hurdle in their track to wide acceptance.

1. Belong
2. Past Perfect
3. Rural Dakota
4. Eva
5. Freestyle
6. Cycle
7. Goodnight Children
8. Brasil for the Taking
9. Summermoonfission
10. Your Last Bike
11. Red Hot
12. White Flower

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