The Situation

The Situation

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Following up their debut, The Reece Nasty EP, from a few years previous, the Situation's self-titled full-length turn is an enjoyable little album that takes its roots from a wide variety of sources, touching on everything from fragile acid folk to (thanks to "Cherry") full-on funk. Opening song "Amoralia" almost starts off as an equivalent to the type of instantly appealing music the Police were known for -- crisp, spare, but memorable hooks in particular -- before bringing in a bit more desperate sprawl in Christopher Tucker's chorus as well as Joe Castro's lead guitar. (And even more thankfully, Tucker's singing doesn't remind anybody of Sting.) The secret key of the album might be that while there's obvious roots in older strains of rock & roll, it doesn't feel entirely musty, for lack of a better word perhaps. For instance, the fleck of Nuggets-era snottiness on songs like "Modern Dances" is delivered warmly and loosely, not in an overly reverent "music is like this and no other way" fashion that adds nothing to what has come before. It's comfortable without being rote, and often, as on gently atmospheric songs like "Pine Street," with a hint of blissed-out guitar, and the loping sweetness of "Latchkey Kids," the overall feeling is one of welcoming warmth. There's even a bit of classic rock surge on "Paper and Pen" that suggests where late-'70s Pink Floyd might have gone if Roger Waters hadn't been such a misery-guts dullard in the end. For all the variety, though, there's a strong core in the end focused around Tucker's sweet-with-a-strong-twist-of-sour delivery and Castro's jack-of-all-trades guitar work, forming a good anchor for everything else. The stripped-down "Photographs and Cherryade" captures it in particular, voice, acoustic guitar, and not much more needed.

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