Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Soft Reeds Blank City The Record Machine 2013

Soft Reeds Blank City The Record Machine 2013 CAT# TRM044

Is Kansas City and the surrounding area becoming a "post-rock" scene?  A bunch of Eno obsessed hipsters in a game of one up-man-ship?  It's starting to seem that way...all these bands kick it pretty mellow and wave around the Bowie/Eno flag.  Not as cool as our emo/post-hardcore days, or Lawrence's surprisingly fertile 80's punk scene, but better than nothing.

If you go by reviews, the Soft Reeds are leading the way and Blank City is the reason why.  The albums has shades of Eno produced Talking Heads and a lot of disco funk thrown on top (by the way, "disco" is no longer a bad word, get over it).  Sounds fancy and all, but goodnight, everybody sounds like Eno now-a-days.  It's all becoming a bit too trendy.  Sharp angular guitars, layers of keyboards, and a dance-able backbeat, it's formulaic and obvious.  It's to the point that the dance-rock is in the realm of fashion rock, I mean, there's only so many ways you can wear a collared shirt and there's only so many ways to show Eno devotion.

The Soft Reeds consist of some Chicago natives, an Autin, TX native, and two Kansas Citians that have called KC their home.  They've played South by Southwest, done the Middle of the Map and have gained notable pub in town.  They are great musicians, there is no denying that by this album...it's not easy to be an Eno obsessed hipster-takes skills.

The hang up is that this is being done, by lots of people and dates back to the 70's.  At this point, it sounds like a sound the band is trying to emulate rather than a product of organic creativity.  The hard dance beats are cool, the choppy guitars are cool, it just sounds forced.

Funky Friends Breath, OK?

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