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I check The New Year's website every so often, just to see if they have a new album. They tend to sneak 'em out every few years. Anyway, I saw a cryptic question at the top of their news section: "What is OVERSEAS?"

Any news update at ALL is a rare thing on the New Year site, so I clicked. it took me here. Not much there, but it's a new band with David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, etc.), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel, New Multitudes), and Matt and Bubba Kadane (The New Year, Bedhead). This is...my mouth is on the floor. I don't know who is doing what in the band, but this combination is (in my opinion) new A&F thread material.

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The lack of details is driving me nuts. Who is doing what? Three of the four spend most of their time singing and playing guitar (and Bubba sings on at least one song per Bedhead/The New Year album), but all four are capable multi-instrumentalists. I'm kind of hoping they trade duties; Bazan and Johnson are quite good on the drums, and the Kadanes at least able in that role. I guess we'll see.

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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I just got the album this morning, so I can't really comment on it as a whole. A few scattered thoughts, though:

  • The band is tight. Will Johnson really locks down grooves, and the rest of the guys are with him all of the way.
  • Bazan's bass parts aren't as creative as I would've hoped, but still really work for the album. He and the Kadanes get into a Bedhead-like interplay on Johnson's "Redback Strike" that really rocks.
  • Some of the songs here are insanely catchy. I've always thought all four guys wrote pop rock tunes in very different ways, and it really comes out here.

Hopefully the back half is as interesting as the first part.

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Sorry to keep posting here, everyone. Oh, who am I kidding - I'm not that sorry.

Listened to the album a good 10 times now. It's really good. Some tracks are better than others, and some — especially some of Will Johnson's more laid back tunes — are slow growers. The good stuff is incredible, though. The Bazan-fronted "HELLP" could have worked on either Achilles Heel or Transaction de Novo, and has a couple of Bazan's best couplets in recent years. "Here (Wish You Were)" is maybe the most staggering tune on the album — it's just the Kadane's icy guitars and Bazan's voice (with a line about pizza, too).

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  • 1 month later...

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