Family Lumber

Look To The Sidelines EP

Written by: DR on 17/11/2011 19:55:38

It has been a while since I reviewed some simple, catchy and charming indie, and that's exactly what Family Lumber's latest EP, "Look To The Sidelines", offers. Originally self-released and promoted by Bear Trap (an automatic seal of approval for me), this EP is the brainchild of Michael Tietjen and has been contributed to by a 'host of different players', ultimately going under the moniker of Family Lumber.

The obvious bands for comparison for this style of lo-fi, sweet and occasionally noisy (but not so much it will wake anyone's parents up) indie are the likes of Built To Spill, Pavement, Nada Surf and Death Cab For Cutie - seminal indie bands of the 90s and early 00s. Although I am far from an authority on such a style, I can at least recognise that "Look To The Sidelines" is good at what it sets out to be. Opener "Before I Sleep" combines introspective, sincere vocals, euphoric choruses and a controlled yet immersive multi-faceted crescendo that I defy anyone to not like, and from that point onward Family Lumber only capitalises on their hold on your attention. "Everything You Wanted To Say" is a short burst of fuzzy Pavement-inspired indie that doesn't come across as a cheap imitation, "No Worries" is uplifting and infectious, and closer "The Past Is Going To Rule You" is fitting way to round things off with the most heartfelt song on the release.

In conclusion, "Look To The Sidelines" is most definitely a throwback to turn of the century indie, but it does so with a healthy helping of nostalgia and without sounding outdated in 2011. If Family Lumber weren't totally sincere as they play this style then "Look To The Sidelines" probably wouldn't work, but their sincerity not only makes this EP believable, it's what will make listeners take to so fondly to it. All that's left to do now is wait for the full-length.

Download: Before I Sleep
For The Fans of: Death Cab For Cutie, Built To Spill, Touch Committee, Nada Surf
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 23.08.2011

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