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IamIs
...It's What Life Feels Like When You're Lost Out Here... (2005, Debauchery)(3.5/5)

IamIs hail from Louisville, KY but one should not expect this to sound like L-ville’s days of hardcore/screamo/math-rock yore. It’s What Life Feels Like… is a hodgepodge of pop sounds, ranging from E6 quirkiness to straight up country rock. They even throw in a touch of bluesy guitar but let that not scare you away, it’s usually so subtle you would hardly notice it unless you sat down to deconstruct the album. Most of the tracks feature male/female vox to above-average effect, Shawna D. providing the yang to Jason C.’s yin.

‘Paper Planes’ follows the opening instrumental track and immediately recalls Apples In Stereo with its psyche guitar swirls, handclapped percussion and Beach Boys harmonies. This is definitely the click pick on the album. That’s not to say what comes after is lacking in any way. ‘The First Big Bang To The Head’ is an admirable attempt at a slightly more organic trip-hop sound. ‘Sunny Dream’ joyously shuffles along while weaving a tale of hope. ‘Yesterday Blues’ segues nicely into ‘The Anatomy Of A Rainy Day’, a short duet replete with that crackly vinyl background noise. The album closes with a slow-burning psyche-blues number piloted along by Shawna’s mic-hugging vocals.

The album displayed a clever mix of sounds and flowed rather nicely from the opening dash to the checkered flag. It does tend to outlive its welcome near the very end so kudos to not feeling the need to fill the disc up with “Hey! We got space left!” filler. This album would fit nicely into your hip iPod on a hazy, overcast Sunday afternoon.

It’s What Life was packaged with the Coelacanth EP, a live acoustic studio performance recorded in late 2004 at Mother Vein Studio. The two IamIs vocalists apparently play shows together as a duo and this EP attempts to capture their sound. I can’t say that this EP was as engaging as the LP. It doesn’t sound much different than you would imagine. A guy and a girl get together at an open mic and sing some songs. They definitely harmonize well together but the plainly-strummed guitar can get a bit boring after a few songs. Someone needs to buy these guys a harmonica or hell, even a kazoo. Stick to the full-length.

-Beat 5/6/05

 

 

 

 

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