Number One Cup

Possum Trot Plan

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Maybe it was poor luck, maybe it was insufficient promotion, or maybe the group simply called it quits too soon, but Number One Cup (singer/guitarists Seth Cohen and Patrick O'Connell and drummer Michael Lenzi) seems destined to remain in the shadows of its contemporaries in the indie rock arena. This is partly because the music of the Chicago trio (aided here by bassist John Przyborowski and producer Dave Trumfio, among others) will bring to mind a host of bands from the genre. On "No Particular Style," the warped guitars and vocal harmonies sound like Yo La Tengo covering My Bloody Valentine. The singers on "Just Let Go" and "Aspirin Burns" bring indie elder statesman Thurston Moore to mind. Real influences or not, Number One Cup rightfully drew these comparisons throughout the band's career, starting with Possum Trot Plan. Cohen and O'Connell bring out an armament of broken guitars that buzz, crunch, crackle, sneer, and stretch into ringing feedback. The entire spectrum of fuzz is wrapped tightly around the group's compact compositions. But despite the overdriven sound, the fidelity Trumfio has created is surprisingly sharp. Studio experiments occasionally emerge as well. There's the faux-Indian introduction to "Divebomb," the burst of abrasive noise that is "Why Did You Piss Yourself?," and the way "Patch Kit" sounds like it was played on instruments from a toy store. But Number One Cup is most effective when the band members pace themselves. They sprinkle wonderful organ melodies throughout "Strange & Silent Staircase," holding the tempo with relaxed drum strokes, shaker, and hand claps. It's followed by the strange, groggy drift of "Static." They create the same effect at mid-tempo with "Pocket." Still, while the capabilities of Number One Cup (both as songwriters and ensemble musicians) are apparent, Possum Trot Plan sounds too much like a composite of the genre circa 1995.

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