Wednesday, March 23, 2011

REVIEW: The Generationals - Actor-Caster

When the band Eames Era broke up because three of the members no longer desired to pursue a music career, the two remaining were Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer. They had been playing music together since their high school years, and they resolved to continue. Calling themselves The Generationals, they released LP Con Law in 2009 and the EP Trust in 2010. Their sophomore effort, titled Actor-Caster is scheduled for release on March 29 on the Park the Van label.

The music The Generationals wrote and recorded for Actor-Caster clearly falls in the guitar/indie pop category. However, the really refreshing thing about the album is the breadth of Joyner's and Widmer's vocabulary within that genre. This breadth is underscored by the first four songs of the album. "Ten-Twenty-Ten" begins the album on an upbeat pop note with the song propelled by a driving rhythm. The second track, "I Promise", is a jangly indie rocker. "Yours Forever" slows the pace down into dream pop territory. "You Say It Too" grabs the listener's attention with a catchy funk/soul groove that repeats for the duration of the song. The album continues with indie rock stompers, power pop and soul influences. And in order to record this variety of music, the duo relies on judicious use of drum machine, synths and horns in varying degrees. However, it all hangs together well, bound by consistency in writing and performance, and an overall sunny vibe. There is a lot going on in some of the songs in terms of instruments, changes of pace and various frills, and it is a credit to the band that it all adds to the final product rather than becoming distracting.

Ten-Twenty-Ten by Generationals from Jubadaba on Vimeo.

Stream the entire album Actor-Caster here:

It is too early to predict where this album will rate at the end of the year. However, I wouldn't be surprised to find this album of well crafted, varied and hook-filled indie pop on my year-end list.

Label Profile for Generationals

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