The Agency – Turn (CD)

This album has been on the review shelves for NeuFutur for a few months, but finally it is getting some love. After the opening strains of “Walking Disaster” tickle the reviewer’s ears, I wonder why it sat here the last few months collecting dust.

The Agency is one of the ew acts that can blend the indefinite rock of Jane’s Addiction, At The Drive-In, and more contemporary emo rock. Thus, “Walking Disaster” is a track that should be on rotation on practically any radio station in the United States; the lines are clear while not losing their energy, the melodies are simple but easily worm their way into listeners’ heads. This means that The Agency is in a unique position; the band has everyone eating out of their hand by the time that “Found” starts up. However, will the band be able to run with this, or will they stumble; “Found” is considerably longer than “Walking Disaster”, but the band is able to stretch out listener’s attention span with compelling instrumentation and Who-like vocals from the beginning measures of the track. The band has completely dropped any twinge of the emo sound that was so catchy during “Found”, moving to a more psychedelic meets classic rock sound. Again, the band is strong and is very competent in crafting tracks that will draw fans in, but the continuity on the early parts of “Turn” may not be as strong as one would like. In much of the same way, “I’m Innocent!” has the band moving to a more angular, Franz Ferdinand-like dancepunk to couple with an Edwyn McCain-type of vocals.

This track is great because of the “odd couple” pairing of the vocals and the instruments, allowing for the band to include practically any influence that might be present in the members of the band. The Agency coems out with a number of different styles during “Turn”, but the one thing that seems to hold them back from having an impressive album is the lack of coherence between the songs on the track. Take any of the disc’s ten tracks and one will have a hit; put on the disc and chances are good that individuals will think that “Turn” is a mix CD rather than the efforts of one band. For the act to surprise on that front, a little cohesion needs to be added to the tracks on their next album. Otherwise, they are ready to grab for the brass ring and hopefully get the press that they deserve.

Top Tracks: Chasing, Flood

Rating: 6.0/10

[JMcQ]

The Agency – Turn / 2006 Perch / 10 Tracks / http://www.theagencyrock.com / http://www.perchrecords.com /

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