Montana 1948 - Picket Fence
- Artist: Montana 1948
- EP: Picket Fence
- Label: www.myspace.com/montana1948
- Year of Release: 2010
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: patchen on 2010-05-15
An odd mix of subtle buzzing guitar that give needed grit and melodies that recall lame 80s bands like Hooters and Mister Mister, the songs on "Final Straw" signal a band at an odd crossroads. San Francisco's Montana 1948 certainly have a knack for hooks, and a love for the semi-epic. Yet it seems that they are playing more to their ambition than their strengths. Less anthems, more hooks, please.
"How To Swim," with its soaring vocals by Ryan Lafferty and the equally large main riff by guitarist Dan Prull, is the best execution of their love for the grand gesture. Less successful is "Mexico," a piece that sounds less moody and effective than intended, but which is saved by Prull and his occasional Husker/Sugar riff, from being a totally tepid pop effort. That latter goal is achieved by the closer, "January Jones," a turgid pop thing whose video would have been watched in the 80s only for the clothes.
"Streetlights," however, ought to point to the bright future. Here, the soaring, shimmering and emoting meets emotion and bite in a believable and organic fashion. Lafferty delivers the lyrics with punch, and swirling guitars make for a memorable refrain. Easily the best song on the EP, it gives hope that Montana 1948's June full-length will offer more than a power-pop sound which is often, at least on "Final Straw," tepid at best.
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