’87 Celebrity – The Green Walls (CD)

Even though a few of the kids from this band have played one of my concerts, and they’ve had tracks up on their website since I first learned about them months ago, I’ve not gotten the pleasure to just sit down and give ’87 Celebrity the attention that they deserve. The mastering is a little rough, with the drums on “Bad Luck” sounding almost as if they were intended to sound like an electronic drum kit. “Bad Luck” is surprisingly fast and bouncy, almost as if they had just come from all listening to a Sum 41 track. “Dreaming” is a much more sedate piece, benefiting from a lush instrumentation and a nice double-part harmony that puts this track firmly in the alternative camp. The Bryan Adams-esque vocals occurring at times during “Dreaming” just strengthen the track, but for the life of me, I don’t understand the continual high-hat hits by Tyler throughout the track. It is almost if ey was trying to keep time for the rest of the band through the entire track, but through some error in mastering, it wasn’t taken out. The true emotive section of “The Green Walls” comes from the Hayden-esque, bongo-fueled “The Sound of Falling Snow”. This is not the emo that is plastered all over mTV though, but rather the emotive rock that exists when an individual is sitting on a bar stool, putting out all their fears and feelings to an attentive audience as ey is strumming softly on a guitar.

The sheer lack of clichéd phrases and sincerity that exists on this track is the reason why they can fill the coffee shops where they play. This is not the rich kids of some high school singing about heartbreak they can never truly feel, this is rip your heart out and show it to you before you die rock. And yes, I’ve trademarked that phrase. Bongos may seem to be a little chintzy in anything besides drumming circles nowadays, but ’87 Celebrity uses them to imbue their tracks with that much more humanity. The hand actually hits the bongo instead of holding a stick to hit the drums. Coming out of this long, dark, and sad cave for the more upbeat “Think For Yourself”, ’87 Celebrity struggle through some weak spots in the recording to deliver what is a very catchy and danceable track. Finishing up “The Green Walls” with another strong track in “End of the Line”, ’87 Celebrity show that the human voice can be the most compelling voice of all. The only companionship that the vocals have on the track are the Lynyrd Skynyrd-esque (think “Tuesday’s Gone”) guitars, drums, and piano – and it works beyond any shadow of a doubt. This is original, this is impressive. Book ’87 Celebrity. Now.

Top Track: The Sound of Falling Snow

Rating: 6.5/10

’87 Celebrity – The Green Walls / 2004 Self / 5 Tracks / http://www.87celebrity.com / disco@87celebrity.com / Reviewed 27 January 2005

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