A relatively stripped-down record in comparison to their later works, this is the finished product that served as lead Danielson Famile member Daniel Smith's senior thesis at Rutgers University. With guitars, bells, drums, and Smith's trademark yelp, the album takes listeners through 24 tracks (the prayers for every hour). The songs themselves are a disheveled group ranging in length from 17 seconds to over five minutes. The musical approach sees simple swipes of choppy, repeated acoustic guitar rhythms being used more as percussion, while the listener is regaled with extremely personal revelations that try to define the conflicts that arise within when dealing with religion and youth (e.g., "My loins say just one thing to me/But my brain says another thing to me"). The album has a tinny, home-recorded quality that suits these homespun flights of inspiration and tales of the faith. The call-and-response calls of "Amen, brother!" during the song "Feeling Tank" are inspired, and the joyful ranting of the opening track, "Nice of Me," is remarkable. Smith fills the record with his high-pitched asides and relays his organic, loving message amidst off-time, rattling musical backdrops and dramatic, sometimes endearingly sloppy execution. Choruses are unveiled in between bits of laughter. Voices echo and marching band dirges work alongside acoustic odes to higher powers. This first release also features some surprisingly recognizable indie rock elements with the inclusion of some louder, scratchy guitars and straightforward, propulsive arrangements. But nothing is straightforward for very long in the Danielson Famile world. If there is a fault, it is that the vocal melodies are not as well developed as the musical ideas, but the seeds for one of the more interesting independent bands recording in both the secular and non-secular world are sewn here.
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AllMusic Review by Jon Pruett