Wes Dando

The Tired Hours

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This debut album from the Pacific Northwest indie three-piece is not particularly striking in terms of adventurousness, but it is nevertheless a fine outing full of proverbially melodic pop tunes, not a foregone conclusion when it comes to first releases in the crowded field. And at the EP-like brevity of 26 minutes, it's an album that knows not to wear out its welcome. As far as the songwriting is concerned, there are some really nice notions played out through the record's eight cuts, from the use of chord progressions that aren't too shopworn to the shimmer of some of these cuts to the band's subtle take on stop-start dynamics. And singer Erick Newbill has the sort of wonderfully cartoonish voice that can make most anything worth at least a couple spins. "Going to Smash" and "My Confidence, Your Opinion" became quick successes on the indie rock charts of www.mp3.com when placed on the site shortly after they were recorded, but that pair is rather lackluster compared to several of the other songs. The particularly lovely "Coughing Is Contagious" and churtling "The Maid's Lush" truly shine amid some of the less interesting, guitar-based sonic conventions that occasionally bog down parts of the album, although even the most status quo songs are utterly listenable. There isn't really a whole lot about Wes Dando's sound aside from Newbill's vocals that sets it apart from the pack just yet, but the music is sufficiently interesting enough to make this a band to watch.

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