Irving – Death in the Garden Blood on the Flowers (CD)

The style of music that Irving plays is something that has not been heard quite as much since the end of the eighties. The very dusky, retro sound of Irving is done with a quality that will make individuals find something to love about the band, even if the individual’s tastes are far removed from the band’s style. For example, a song like “Situation” is something that is heavily based in the Monkees-type of rock of the sixties, but has almost the same amount of They Might Be Giants influence threading its way through the track.

At some point, the catchiness of all the tracks on “Death in the Garden” will make Irving into the Pied Pipers of Hamlin. This means that “I Want To Love You in My Room” has a catchiness that only individuals like Sparks could top; “If You Say Jump, I Will Say No” sounds as if Weezer happened on a big pile of weed. It seems as if Irving is topping themselves with each subsequent track on “Death in the Garden”, as the strung-out ecstasy of a track like “Lovely, Just Like Her” indicates. Many of the songs on the disc are done in a style that individuals can immediately get behind, but this does not mean that Irving is a band that panders to the lowest common denominator. Individuals may be wowed by Irving throughout this disc, but it is only when the band finishes off this disc with “The Look of Flowers that Are Looked At” that the band gives their listeners closure.

The dreamy style of Irving during the track is perfected with the almost-squeezebox tempo of the band during the track. Hints of Radiohead and Bright Eyes make their presence felt, but there is something more to this song than merely indie-rock. There is a muted pomp and circumstance in the bridge during the track; hints of late Beatles and Cure can be found in equal numbers during this track. This may just be the best way to spend an hour; individuals can just be debriefed in the last ten minutes (the disc is only fifty minutes) to make the world seem at least somewhat comparable to the brilliance that is Irving. Where did these kids come from? Who knows, the only thing that I can hope for is that they continue to come out with the same high quality of music that litters the entirety of “Death in the Garden Blood on the Flowers”.

Top Tracks: The Look of Flowers that Are Looked At, Situation

Rating: 7.9/10

Irving – Death in the Garden Blood on the Flowers / 2006 Eenie Meenie Records / 13 Tracks / http://www.thebandirving.com / http://www.eeniemeenie.com / Reviewed 04 April 2006

[JMcQ]

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