Between the Bread
Everything Looks Prettier in the Movies (Flaming Chip Records)
A Suburban Blood Drive
Everything Looks Prettier in the Movies is one of those albums that are in a sandwich. Too good to ignore, but it won't make a best-of-the-year list. Containing six songs, is it a long EP or full-length CD? Those six songs could be ten or twelve minutes each, but the question is answered by the 21 minutes it takes to listen to all of it. That's irrelevant, though, in terms of the quality of the music. It is also one of those CDs that's worth having around just for the artwork, which is mainly cut-out black and white pictures of famous Hollywood faces from the first half of the 20th century, pasted onto bodies of what appear to be (prints of) classical nude paintings. Original? Probably not. Striking and amusing? Yes. Shirley Temple's smiling cherubic face pasted on the body of a naked man; now that's humor.
The members of A Suburban Blood Drive are full of good musicianship and there's some excellent guitar playing. There's even a little Eddie Van Halen-esque guitar interlude during "I Saw You Smile." Most of the music leans toward melancholia, which is obviously good news for all who enjoy that and we know who we are. Generally speaking, though, there is something missing here. Something. Some certain ingredient and I am not sure what it is. It could be that the music is simply not weird enough to satisfy me. It isn't exactly mainstream, but it's not in left field, or what some people refer to as `way out' either. It's a good musical meal, but needs a condiment or two.
How about this? You get the CD and decide for yourself. The music is harmless and chances are you'll like it. You might want to check out the band's label, New Albany's Flaming Chip Records at www.flamingchiprecords.com