Posted on: July 22, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Sean Na Na – Family Trees or Cope We Must / 2007 Dim Mak / 12 Tracks / / /

Man, Sean Tillmann can do a lot of different styles. Sean is the mastermind behind Sean Na Na, and musicphiles may remember the name from the noisy rockers Calvin Krime. Couple Sean up with already-diverse Dim Mak, and individuals will definitely have an interesting album. “Family Trees or Cope We Must” is just another example of Sean’s ability and Dim Mak’s diversity, as the catchy style of “We’ve Been Here Before” links together The Rocket Summer, The Red Hot Valentines, and The Polyphonic Spree into a bouncy, twinkly type of indie rock that would not sound too terribly weird coming out of a pop radio station.

“Hairspray” is a much more organic track than “We’ve Been Here Before”, as it primarily works on the vocals of Sean and another individual, with only minimal instrumentation to back that up. This means that there is a martial set of drums providing the lower sounds while a twinkling, emotive guitars ties up the space above the vocals. What results is something that is emotive, catchy, and is even timeless in its’ overall sound. It definitely is a high point on an already-solid album. The quicker tempo of “Can’t Get A Spark” is the perfect counterpoint to the slower “Hairspray”. The vocals here are confident without being edged or jaggy; they allow listeners to float on a genuinely fun track, one that is so varied that individuals can only call it “Rock”. “I’ll Take It All” is another track that builds off of the successes of “Can’t Get A Spark”.

The track seems to have an older sound to it that will be hard to put one’s finger. There is almost an old Goo Goo Dolls sound to it, but if the vocals of Dave Grohl were added to the mix. The overall sound of the song is reminiscent of a nineties summer day, and it is yet another success for Sean Na Na. “Family Trees or Cope We Must” may be forty minutes, but the tracks will all go back quickly. Sean Na Na can even vary things up towards the end of the disc, as “The Hunter” is a track that brings seventies rock to the overall sound of the band. What results is a track that continues having a quick tempo and a sunny disposition, but is still able to rend and grind listeners into submission. Pick this disc up, for sure.

Top Tracks: The Hunter, Straight Dope

Rating: 6.8/10

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