Andy Whitman, on 28 May 2012 - 03:12 PM, said:
I liked what I heard. Sonically, it's something of a middle ground between the early screamo approach and the freak folk approach of It's All Crazy ... There is some sort of concept going on here involving animals on a circus train, which could very well be as problematic as it sounds. But I need to give the lyrics a chance. Aaron Weiss is nothing if not enigmatic. And at least a couple of these songs resemble pop songs. I heard a bit of REM and The Weakerthans.
Agreed on the REM! This record is really good, and it's making me wonder about the progression or the relationship between their last 3 records -- Brother, Sister,
to It's All Crazy
to this. Somehow it seems like It's All Crazy
should be the record after
this one. Ten Stories is a deft tiptoeing between post-hardcore/emo/whatever and REM/Smiths pop -- which I feel shouldn't work after writing that, but it's beautiful. "Nine Stories" in particular, with that lovely singsongy REM chorus, shifting into that chugging groove at the end? Man. That is good.
I seem to recall interviews where someone from the band has said that It's All Crazy
was not a good time for them as a band, that Weiss wanted to go in a direction they didn't want to go, but that it was somehow a record they needed to make. And I do feel like Ten Stories
is Weiss calming down a little (a little
, I must stress) about some of the things that have concerned him, and really digging into stories for their own sake.
Anyway, I like this album a lot.