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One Word

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
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AllMusic Review by

It all begins with an amusing phone rant, which may be real and may not be, from a woman trashing a concert by the group and their "rock star" attitude on display. With that out of the way, One Word captures a fun, energetic set of songs from the trio, just smart enough lyrically to stand out even when the music sometimes succeeds in just reminding a listener of other groups. Scanlin's vocals thankfully avoid the generic drawl plaguing any number of '90s indie rockers; while he still sounds a touch on the lazy side, there's enough edge to balance it out. Lyrically, he displays both his wit and intensity throughout -- "Gentry" is a fantastic example of both, a double-edged meditation on fashionable post-grunge melancholia. The initial lines of "Self-Conscious Spiel" are a scream -- "Educated pale privileged white male/As it was then so it is now/My cursed fate does not allow for any pain/I will make my own from the bright thin air." Musically, the three know their inspiring music well, steering away from the emo trap of the late nineties while drawing on the same well of influences. Echoes of everyone from the Minutemen to the Poster Children, amusingly referenced on the rueful and hilarious slice-of-band-life "Hate L.A.," crop up. When the trio transcends that to create its own fine fusion, things really shine. The handclaps and power-phased guitar on "The Look," not to mention the nervily sweet snippet that crops up at its end, and the series of small but forceful tempo changes in "Last Date" are some examples of how they can turn things on in inventive ways. Credit also goes to guest performers on violin, cello, and piano, who help the record stand out more, adding both beauty and energy when needed. If not a life-changer, One Word is still a fine listen.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 0:30
2 3:08 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:14 SpotifyAmazon
4 4:27 SpotifyAmazon
5 4:02 SpotifyAmazon
6 2:52 SpotifyAmazon
7 4:17 SpotifyAmazon
8 4:14 SpotifyAmazon
9 3:09 SpotifyAmazon
10 5:19 SpotifyAmazon
11 2:22 SpotifyAmazon
12 0:04
13 0:04
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4:53
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