Minor Alps: Get There (Barsuk) - album review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #48 - November/December 2013 - HAIMMinor Alps

Get There


Dec 05, 2013 Issue #48 - November/December 2013 - HAIM Bookmark and Share

It’s a long time since Matthew Caws was angrily railing against the iniquity of high school social structures on Nada Surf’s college rock anthem “Popular” and it shows. Of course, if any middle-aged man continued to channel all his artistic energy into berating jocks, cheerleaders, cool kids, and high achievers it would look rather desperate, frozen, and weird. Such arrested development would eventually lead to some kind of messy public breakdown. Just look at Billie Joe Armstrong.

Minor Alps is Caws’ duo with fellow indie legend Juliana Hatfield and it has “mature” written all over it. While “Mixed Feelings” half-heartedly tries to rock things up a bit, clearly the couple are more comfortable crafting softer slices of downbeat indie pop. “If I wanted trouble, I could find it,” they purr on one hymn to staying stoned and out of mischief.

Unfortunately, their grown-up aversion to trouble can topple into polite, forgettable niceness, with the strongest feeling on offer being a gentle brand of contented melancholy. It’s up to the Hatfield-led closing track “Away Again” to provide a stronger emotional force. Though remaining quietly understated, there is a poignant desperation to her pleas of “Don’t go away again/Don’t send me away again.” It pulls back the listener’s attention a little too late after a couple more inconsequential numbers. (www.facebook.com/minoralps)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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