The Payola Reserve â€“ 200 Years / 2007 Self / 13 Tracks / http://www.thepayolareserve.com /
The Payola Reserve have a smoothed out sound that blends a Radiohead sound with a more classic, folk style. â€œGrade A Televisionâ€ starts off â€œ200 Yearsâ€, and it is here where The Payola Reserve begin to impress listeners. They impress listeners through this blending of styles, and through the confidence of the bandâ€™s lead singer. â€œJugband Joanâ€ adds different influences and styles to The Payola Reserveâ€™s overall sound. The vocals move into a more Elvis Costello-type of sound, while there are hints of bluegrass and surf present in the instrumental arrangements.
In much of the same way, â€œPortrait Societyâ€ allows The Payola Reserve to explore different genres and musical styles. What results during this track is something that blends equal parts Eagles and â€œSynchronicityâ€-era Police. The slower tempo of a â€œAll Things Are Better in Heavenâ€ imbue the band with an earlier sound, without sacrificing the radio-friendly sound that the band has cultivated with earlier tracks. The band seems to be leading up into something big during the first half of â€œ200 Yearsâ€. The pinnacle of their work on the disc comes during â€œLost Wind Crazeâ€. The track is able to tap into the current indie rock meets alt-country sound created by bands like Lucero, Latterman, and to a smaller degree Against Me and make something that could be played on the widest swath of music and video stations.
The tracks on â€œ200 Yearsâ€ go by quickly and The Payola Reserve comes forth strong with each subsequent track. While a song like â€œLost Wind Crazeâ€ was one of the most compelling on the disc, the confident swagger of the 38 Special meets Zappa â€œHenriettaâ€ shows further expansion and evolution of the bandâ€™s sound. Nothing really needs to be changed on the bandâ€™s follow-up to â€œ200 Yearsâ€; the production is strong without distancing the band from their fans; the overall sound of The Payola Reserve is approachable without being dumbed-down. It will just take the right constellation of magazines, radio stations, and video outlets to give The Payola Reserve the push that they deserve. While there is no evidence of it, the lively nature of the band as captured on this studio recording will likely be impressive in a live content. Go and check The Payola Reserve out, pick up â€œ200 Yearsâ€, and ride on the waves of their vibrant rock before they break it big.
Top Tracks: Jugband Joan, Henrietta