Monday, January 24, 2011

Extra Arms (in March)

Ryan Allen's been writing some songs - enough to fill an album's worth. It comes out on the 2nd day of Spring on Bellyache. Having leapfrogged a few bands in the last few years (Thunderbirds Are Now -> Friendly Foes ->, now, The Cold Wave), the perennial pop/rock songsmith has arranged a true "solo record." Well, about 94% him - with a few instrumental help from friends and the boardwork of Dave Feeney (at Tempermill). Until March, all we get are 4 songs.

Allen's not about to throw out his guitar for synthesizers. Dinosaur Jr., Ted Leo, Guided By Voices, and Pinkerton-era Weezer are still his main galley of muses 's - he's been honing it for a decade now- (growing away from the 03-era spazzed-leanings of TAN), so he knows well the realms of instantaneous hooks and exuberant riffs.

So, he's uploaded a free 4-song-glimpse into latest opus - which range from self-affirming/repudiating pop-ballad middle fingers to the mostly annonymous gallery of blog-comment posters (oh, the blog battles)... - to breezier bop-fest ditties about, yeah, sure, wanting to slow down a bit, but being unable to stop writing.

One's not sure how nostalgic he actually is, dancing around the phrase of "old days" with "Headache Nights." Its fourth track closes with a few nods back to the originals' exasperation, pushing a what feels like optimistic existenialism. "We do what we do so we can do what we can..." yes, but...also, while we're at it, "Let's move ahead..."

Can we?

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