I Make This Sound: Everything Means Something
I Make This Sound

A single listen is all some releases need to convincingly argue their case and no better recent example than that is I Make This Sound's 25-minute six-pack Everything Means Something. The band, its seven Texas natives now rooted in Los Angeles, deftly segues between guitar-based rave-ups and enchanting balladry. “Macaroni Art, For You” eases the listener in with a gently picked acoustic guitar, soft keyboard accents, and hushed vocal before “Clockwork” kicks in with a similarly restrained vocal but a faster tempo and some blistering slide playing during its gloriously anthemic choruses. “Everything Means Something” opens with Morrissey-styled vocal melodies against a simple piano and vibes backing before a swooning slide figure stretches across the sky. Sleigh bells ring throughout the endearing jaunt of “Holiday” which likewise hints at a strong Morrissey influence. By comparison, the gothic sludge of the closer “The Dancer” appeals less but that disappointment doesn't negate the impact of the other gems. There's much to like here but mention must be made of the slide guitar playing, clearly a signature strength of the group's sound. Everything Means Something is that rare EP that opens strongly and gets better with each passing song, and proves once again that great songwriting, arranging, and singing never goes out of style.

January 2007