Placing together some of the indie rock of the early nineties with a Weezer-like pop sensibility, Number One Fan is able to weld their strengths into a contraption that is held together with the sauter of talent. Not holding themselves to traditional power-pop/indie-rock song lengths, Number One Fan really uses the extra time that they give themselves for an expansion of their sound, making sure aurally that no stone is left unturned. Each track is worthy to be on CMJ rotations worldwide, but a track like “Don’t Say Anything” is the ultimate in driving songs, with a constant drum beat and the slightest ethereal flair to the guitars that mimics the openness of the sky. Number One Fan has a very narrow band of sound that they work in for “Compromises”, but completely master that sound to the degree that what could possibly be construed as a limitation actually works as a benefit for the band. The plodding “The Distance”, with the contrast posed between the sloth-like guitars and the enormous sound of the guitars paint much more than a song usually does – with this, I feel that an entire novel is related to me, instead of the snippets most songs provide their listeners with.
Having keyed themselves into a multiple part harmony for “The Distance”, which could go wrong so easily in the hands of lesser talented musicians, the vocals laid down flitter and fly through the framework of guitar and drums to destroy any possibility of a Spartan sound. The storied heights of “Compromises” come with the next song, “Sorry”. Adding more influences to their repertoire for this track, snippets of Self-Titled Blink 182 mix in with Edwin McCain to provide an aural orgasm aided by a lush mastering and producing, along with a strong synthesizer solo to really end off the track.
Number One Fan and the Goo Goo Dolls just strike me as being two bands that diverged on two completely different paths. While the Goo Goo Dolls predated NOF by about 15 years, the fact is the overall sound of “Compromise” is what I would expect the Goo Goo Dolls to be doing if they hadn’t sold their souls to Satan back after “Name” came out. Ultimately emotional, solid musicianship mixing with a good presence, Number One Fan is a band that has something for everyone, and does not cheapen themselves by pandering themselves so widely.
Top Tracks : Sorry, Don’t Say Anything
Number One Fan – Compromises / 10 Tracks / 2004 Pats Record Company / http://www.numberonefanonline.com / http://www.patsrecordcompany.com / Released 18 May 2004 / Reviewed 26 April 2004