Is This Real?

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The production leaves much to be desired with its tinny-sounding drums, but, fortunately, the negatives don't outweigh the positives on this album. Guitarist/vocalist Greg Sage writes fairly simplistic songs with power chords, but each melody infects your brain like a fever. Even though Sage is from Oregon, he sings in a New York-style slur not dissimilar to Joey Ramone. Throughout the album, there is a very dark and ominous feel to the material (e.g., "D-7"), but it's made interesting on tracks like "Alien Boy," which changes from 4/4 time to 2/4 time. Sage also has a unique guitar style where he strums chords and lets them sustain into feedback, which creates rich textures in the songs (e.g., "Potential Suicide" and "Don't Know What I Am").

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