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American Pleasure Dome

American Pleasure Dome

Review by Gary Hill

There is a real alternative rock vibe here that often lands near emo zones. The music is strong, and there are some standouts. It does tend to feel just a little formulaic at times. Still, that's not often, and if you are the kind of person who only listens to a song or two from an album at a time, you'll never notice it.

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Track by Track Review
Time Wave
A classy alternative rocker, this has elements of emo. It also has a decidedly classic rock styled guitar solo. The number is classy and rather hook-laden. It's a strong opening shot.
Dark Side
Some backtracked stuff opens this cut. The tune shifts out to more of a mainstream alternative rocker. This is sort of mid-tempoed. It's also quite melodic. It has some dreamy elements at play, too.  I really dig the guitar solo section on this thing. It brings some hints of psychedelia.
Obey That Bling
A bit more of a rocker, this still has a lot of alternative rock cool built into it. The vocals bring some hints of emo. There is a real accessible pop rock vibe at the heart of the tune.
Saint Grumpy
The guitar riffing that opens this has a bit more of a classic rock vibe. There is a lot of Americana and even some hints of country in the mix here. This has a timeless quality to it while still reflecting an alternative rock concept.
Happy Pills
There is a bit more of an edgy rock sound to this thing. The chorus is decidedly catchy. There are some cool twists here. The overlayers of sound bring some intriguing things to it, too. This is one of the most interesting songs here, and one of the highlights of the set.
Cape May Rain
A bit mellower, this cut has some of the dreamy textures we've heard at times before. It's another highlight of the set, and feels almost ballad-like at times. There are some decidedly soaring moments, though, and the guitar solo really brings that rocking elements.
Never Call
This number even has some hints of progressive rock in some of the instrumental work. It's a classy tune that brings a different edge to the alternative rock sound of the set.
Bad Girlfriend
The guitar hook that opens this has a real classic edge. The cut is another solid slab of alternative rock.
Siren's Island
This is a solid, if perhaps a bit formulaic, example of the band's alternative rock stylings.
Crazy Running Guy
A more balladic number, this is another strong one. It's not a standout, but well worth inclusion here. It does bring some variety to the set. Somehow it seems almost ironic that a song called "Crazy Running Guy" is among the mellowest of the whole album.
Minnesota Goodbye
Here we have a fairly by-the-numbers rocker set in alternative zones. It's good, but a bit of an "also ran."
Sister Adelheid
Some backtracked stuff opens this cut. The tune drives out from there with a cool alternative rock informed by Americana vibe. This is one of the stronger pieces here. It has some emo in the mix, too. They turn it out to some trippy stuff at the end to close things in style.


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