The Movies – In One Era Out the Other / 2002 Gern Blandsten Records / 10 Tracks / http://www.gernblandsten.com / http://www.skyscrapermedia.net / Reviewed 01 January 2004
Another lo-fi, ethereal sounding type of alternative music. Timothy’s lyric sound plucked out of an early eighties 4AD release. While the promo sheet would have you try to equate The Movies with “Pornography-era Cure”, I would have to point individuals in the way of a more Human League/Culture Club/Depeche Mode type of vibe, especially during “Secretariat”. However, this disc suffers most grievously from retreading over the same ground for a number of songs. The slow, dirge-like “Secretariat” moves into “Creation Lake” with no real way to discern between the two songs. Finally, when “Scary Footsteps” comes on, we can actually realize something in the way of a song break. While every track on this disc is rendered in a way to show the bands’ incredibly relaxed attitude towards music creation, I actually feel that this is more of a bane than a boon for The Movies. For example, a track like “Don’t Steal My Licks”, ironically named as it could fit in to a Rolling Stones record, fails because of the lack of energy that the band exhibits.
However, even with the problem of a lack of energy amongst the members of the band, there are still some interesting directions that “In One Era” goes, especially during the second half of the disc. The ethereal echoing of vocals in “Truth Knocking” creates a sound that is much bigger than the four member band should be able to create. The Movies are fans of their slow-tempo, odd lyric-ed songs, as they go back to the well twice more after their Secretariat/Creation Lake doubling in “Pass the Music” and “Midnight Bloody Murder”. While the album does illuminate parts of the potential for The Movies, the fact are that the tracks recorded on this disc are of much too narrow of a spectrum to fully give an individual a total appreciate for the talents that the band may have.
Perhaps in the future, The Movies can come up with a slightly longer disc that showcases all facets of what appears to be a very deep and impressive band. As for “In One Era”, though, the band really tends to focus on the introspective, slowed-down types of song, which I am personally not convinced that they have down as much as the higher-energy romps. While they may call themselves “the quietest punk band in the world”, I would have to say, cut the crap. The pure moments of brilliance on this disc come when The Movies are rocking out, not when they are muttering lyrics to no one in particular.
Top Tracks : Scary Footsteps, Don’t Steal My Licks