Not Sitting Idle

Mind The Gap (Not Lame)

The Rumors

By David Lilly

It's a fact. Amidst all the construction in the area, you might not have noticed that four guys from southern Indiana, known as The Rumors, have taken a musical path down the middle of the road into Louisville. Mind The Gap, their second full-length disc, is very pleasant and can probably be found holding hands with radios everywhere. It rocks at times but seems to have the spirit of the old America song, "Ventura Highway," residing in it - that's a compliment. Interestingly, the first sound is that of an announcer at a London train station, opening into the first song, "London Town."

Lead singer Rob Marlin, with The Beatles and Toad the Wet Sprocket in his blood, has a very pleasant voice that complements this music well. He's a good singer who also strums a mean rhythm guitar. The harmonizing between Marlin and bassist Sam Powers is lovely and effective, especially on "San Diego," a song of love, separation and longing - maybe I'm imagining it, but I also hear a touch of BOC's "Don't Fear The Reaper" here, also. On dobro, mandolin and banjo, guest Steve Cooley proves with the "The Hardest Days" and "23" that the presence of a banjo doesn't necessarily make a song country music.

On the other hand, if you like country music, you're bound to dig the last song, "When You Wake." Even I like it, and I usually avoid that genre like a disease. This song is actually fun and has a "live" atmosphere (just don't chew on your arm). A good driving song, "The Hardest Days" is melancholy, with appropriately sad lines like "Dry your eyes/the day is through/night has gone far from you/try to remember the things you left behind." Jon Beyl proves himself a good guitarist all over the place and on this song uses tremolo to make very effective audio ripples. Last but not least, Jerry McBroom, a drum teacher, bangs the kit solidly (and gently - or not at all, when silence is best) while keeping time for the band throughout the disc.

Read more about this indigenous band and hear some samples at www.therumors.net.