Sounding a bit scattered, St. Louis quartet Pave the Rocket released their slightly overlooked debut, Taken In, on Deep Elm Records in 1998. Defined by dissonance, the group (Jason House on guitars and vocals, Stacey House on guitar, Jim Harper on drums, and bassist Mike Belfield) had an emo/math rock and indie rock sound that fell somewhere between early Sunny Day Real Estate, Built to Spill, and a host of louder '90s avant-punk and noise artists like Quicksand and the Jesus Lizard. House's nasal quasi-melodies referenced Chicago's most famous wall-of-guitar band, but fortunately without the polish. At their best, during tracks like "Facesmash" and "Geltab," the Houses build monstrous waves of crude but catchy guitars that challenge the best of their hybrid's influences. A few moments of filler get in the way, diluting the message, yet there's more to enjoy on Taken In than there is to avoid. Despite a fair bit of hype and some choice opening slots with many an indie heavyweight, this disc didn't expand Pave the Rocket's audience, and after a self-released follow-up in 2000, the group disbanded. Hardly a significant recording, Taken In is an interesting effort, if only for the talent that's implied more than actualized within its track list.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson