The Movies

In One Era out the Other

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The Movies are one of the new wave of new wave revivalists. They stake out a claim to the softer sound of the era. Unlike a band like Interpol, who is mostly doom and gloom, or the Strokes, who are revved-up rockers, the Movies mostly stroll through the autumnal shadows humming a simple tune. The ten tracks on In One Era and out the Other are short, angular, and mostly mid-tempo, with stabbing keyboards and upfront basslines. The lyrics don't make much sense for the most part, but are suitably gloomy and weird. On the few up-tempo tracks, like "Don't Steal My Licks," vocalist Timothy James is a dead ringer for a caffeined-up Ric Ocasek as he jitters and yowls through the up-tempo tracks. When the band slows it down a little, James relaxes his vocal pose a little and the band is much more pleasant to listen to. "Secretariat" is even pretty in a Pavement-esque way, and "Pass the Music" is calm and jangly sounding, like an outtake from the Cars' Panorama. "A Better Life" features some fine keyboard work by Brian Cleary; he helps to fill out the rather thin sound of the guitar-bass-drums lineup throughout the record. The Movies overall sound pretty derivative but shows flashes of promise here and there. If you are a new wave of new wave revivalist who is out to collect all the new records you can, don't hesitate to pick this record up.

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