Now It's Overhead

Fall Back Open

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Now It's Overhead mix up a late-'80s new wave vibe with a '90s shoegaze sensibility on their record Fall Back Open, released on Saddle Creek. The first half of Fall Back Open leans more to the moody new wave of someone like Peter Murphy, Depeche Mode, or the Cure. Andy LeMaster creates dark, dramatic pop, combining layers of vocals and guitars with danceable beats, as in "Wait in Line" or the Brit-pop leanings of "Surrender." At times in the first half, the repeated song structure can make your attention wander. The last half of the record is more successful in its shoegaze direction. In tracks like "Reverse," "Antidote," and "A Little Consolation," Now It's Overhead bring out the best qualities of '90s Brit-pop and shoegaze, harking to such bands as Spiritualized and My Bloody Valentine. Reverberated guitar washes blend against harmonized vocals and big beats. LeMaster's vocals and lyrics tend to be laid on a bit thick, but Fall Back Open's best moments push past those shaky parts. Athens, GA, local Michael Stipe and Saddle Creek labelmate Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes fame) help out on backing vocals to add to the mood. Despite some tedious melodramatics, Fall Back Open is a decent sophomore effort from Now It's Overhead.

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