Portland has been the home of some up-and-coming bands of the current era. Off the top of my head, both The Epoxies and Adeline Recordsâ€™ The Soviettes come to mind. The Epoxies are impressive because no other band can even begin to claim a similar sound â€“ the first track on â€œStop The Futureâ€ â€œRaditionâ€ mixes together Save Ferris, Bif Naked, Devo, and even The Network to start the disc off right. The music on â€œStop The Futureâ€, largely pressed into its final form by the rigid sounds of Fritzâ€™s synths, is in reality a very localized style. Each subsequent track on â€œStop The Futureâ€ begins to suffer more due to this rigidity, and even by the third track â€œSynthesizedâ€ the chintzy synthesizers canâ€™t stop listeners from beginning to get tired of the same thing repackaged. However, some headway in breaking free of this ennui is created by the guitar-heavy (thank you, Viz Spectrum) fourth track â€œRobot Manâ€. There are still some static elements that hold the track back from greener pastures (the multiple-part harmonies and singing in the same key by Roxy), but â€œRobot Manâ€ is pivotal in keeping fans listening.
A backslide is present during â€œWind Me Upâ€, but the inclusion of a present bassline during â€œEverything Looks Beautiful On Videoâ€ is a nice change from the norm. The largely instrumental sound of the title track is a nice refreshing dish after the mass of similarly-seasoned food that marked the first half of the disc. The first vocal track after â€œStop The Futureâ€, â€œStruggle Like No Otherâ€ uses a Tiger Army/Nekromantiz bass line along with a coupling of vocals to set the entire momentum of the disc in a completely different direction.
The Epoxies have been around for half a decade and the beginning half of â€œStop The Futureâ€ shows that they have a distinctive sound to them, to the degree that this is pretty much the only style present during the first half of the disc. The second half of the disc experiments much more, and it is then that the band really can shine. â€œYou Kill Meâ€ is the high point of this disc, and really shows me why the band received such critical hype from my circle of friends. The disc is notoriously uneven though, and individuals might want to listen to this disc before picking it up, as the aforementioned unevenness may turn people off.
Top Tracks: You Kill Me, At The Seams
The Epoxies â€“ Stop The Future / 2005 Fat Wreck / 13 Tracks / http://www.theepoxies.com / http://www.fatwreck.com / Reviewed 01 May 2005