The 90 Day Men

Too Late or Too Dead

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In the fall of 2003, the 90 Day Men released the excellent Too Late or Too Dead CD single (anticipating the Panda Park LP), a three-song set pushing the piano-driven post-hardcore formula of the 2002 To Everybody. Keyboard arpeggios, Radiohead-like guitar flourishes, and stutter-step drums characterize the title track, which is reminiscent of recent Black Heart Procession material. "Harlequin's Chassis" is a four-minute dirge that continues the piano melodies and more contemplative parts of the title track, sounding something akin to a movie fade-out. The final track, "Eyes in the Road," recalls the latter-'90s trend for indie bands to bury their half-baked PowerBook experiments at the end of an otherwise well-conceived effort. It is the ambient electronica equivalent of elevator mood music and was most likely included as a frivolous bonus for die-hard fans.

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