"Never make a promise..." Promises, as well as the eventual betrayal that can lead from them when broken, form a central theme that Avoidance Theory endeavors to investigate in their "Promise To The Refrigerator" EP. This is the first offering from the Alhambra, CA based band, consisting of Bryan (guitarist in the band Tigerella) and Linda. The married duo are quite adept at manipulating both your emotions and your heartstrings, combining quirky lyrics with indie rock smarts on their debut 6 song release. Rather than automatically positioning all the catchiest songs first, the EP has been carefully designed to provide a total listening experience from beginning to end, much like a mini-soundtrack for a movie. It's all about pacing here. Thus, the two freaky instrumentals, featuring bells and walkie-talkie static, do not so much as fragment the set as provide necessary segues between the other songs on the CD. "What You said" opens the set with a plea for friendship in the shape of a rockin' number peppered with the disembodied voices of malcontent. The title track, "Promise To The Refrigerator," embodies the typical Avoidance Theory sound, which starts off with just vocals and an acoustic guitar and then procedes to launch layer upon layer of lo-fi walls of sound. "Red and Whites," arguably the most straightforward track on the album, features intertwined harmonies in a beautiful whispery tale of fireworks gone wrong. And the ethereal closer "View From 300 Million B.C." unwinds amidst brooding organs, samples of wildlife, and extraterrestrial inspired synthesizers. Although recorded using only 2 mics and a four-track, the "Promise To The Refrigerator" EP maintains a high standard in both its structure and composition that will please patrons of the independent, lo-fi sound as well as those interested in more orthodox pop melodies. The EP also gets much of its mileage out of various keyboards and the careful insertion here and there of strange home-made samples. The lesson here is that weirdness can be good, but in measured doses. Without abusing the power vested in them by technology, Avoidance Theory have created a short work that is a strong marriage of emotional songwriting and science fiction experimentalism. Just don't expect all of your kitchen appliances to stand up and applaud all at once. Recommended for fans of: Granddaddy, East River Pipe, Elliott Smith, Low, Sparklehorse.
item # 9250