Bound Stems / Family Afloat, The
Album: Family Afloat, The   Collection:General
Artist:Bound Stems   Added:Sep 2008
Label:Flameshovel Records  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2008-11-16 Pull Date: 2009-01-18
Week Ending: Jan 18 Jan 4 Dec 28 Dec 21 Dec 14 Dec 7 Nov 23
Airplays: 3 1 1 1 1 3 2

Recent Airplay
1. Jul 13, 2011: Not That Simple
Happens To Us All Otherwise
4. Apr 16, 2009: Radiophonic
Cloak Of Blue Sky
2. Nov 27, 2009: Radiophonic
Cloak Of Blue Sky
5. Jan 17, 2009: Lost and Found
Sugar City Magic
3. Oct 30, 2009: Radiophonic
Sugar City Magic
6. Jan 14, 2009: Hand Wash in Coleslaw
Sugar City Magic

Album Review
Danny Neumann
Reviewed 2008-11-03
Complex, disjointed, atmospheric, but sometimes poppy indie rock. Diverse instrumentation, unusual song structures. The songs fit around smart, impressionistic narratives that are sometimes whiny. Standard indie rock vocals on top of distorted guitars (sometimes choppy, sometimes ambient), synths, all sorts of different textures. The songs change constantly. Interesting drum and bass interaction, complex, evolving rhythms. The songs tend to drift around a lot, adding and subtracting instruments and themes, changing moods. The beginning of the album is noisy and faster, then the rest of it is slower and melancholy. This album is loaded with riffs that remind me of other current indie rock bands, too many to list. Comes across as original, but sometimes the borrowing is too explicit. No FCCs. Picks: 2, 5, 8, 10.

1) Starts chill, expansive, grows faster and louder. Echoey guitars, angular bass. Marimba, trumpets, distorted synth, vocal harmonies, all sorts of different elements and textures. Song keeps changing.
* 2) Upbeat, poppy, catchy song. Driving beat, cool bass sound, chorused vocals, nice lyrics. On top of wall-of-sound-ish guitars. Standard indie-rock lead guitar sound.
3) Faster. Chorused vocals, angular bass line, distorted guitars. Goes from sparse and chill to loud and distored. Snobby lyrics, "high profile private education" "A-students mingle with blue collar workers / they couldn't do it if they tried." Yay, elitism.
4) Slow piano intro, chill vocals, and builds. Synth backing, noisy guitars. It becomes dramatic and percussive.
* 5) Chill, echoey, cool synth loop, female atmospheric vox, male lead. Happy lyrics. Piano loop enters later, and then nice whistling.
6) Bouncy, faster, with a dark, expansive background. Emotive male vox reinforced with female vox on certain lines. Becomes loud, intense, cathartic. Dammit, then it becomes happy at the end.
7) Peaceful, slower, reflective song. Typewriters on top of spacious synth, piano.
* 8) Slighly melancholy, reflective. Acoustic guitar, echoey, quavering, scratchy vocals, again with female backing. Banjo comes in. Picks up, drum beat comes in.
9) Bouncy piano, drum beat, bass, swung vocals. Distorted guitars make their appearance again. Ominous, expansive piano, and later some nice whistling.
* 10) Fast, eigth-note guitars. More of a standard song construction than other songs on this album. Kinda nostalgic, lyrics about youth and family drama.


Track Listing
1. Taking Tips From The Gallery Gang   6. Cloak Of Blue Sky
2. Happens To Us All Otherwise   7. Only Clementine Knows
3. Passing Bell   8. Winston
4. Palace Flophouse And Grill   9. Crossed Off Together
5. Clear Water & Concrete   10. Sugar City Magic