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August 7, 2003

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6 Out of 10
Promising. Heading up.

It comes as a bit of a relief that Denver Dailey has left behind his previous band, Desaparecidos, and branched out on his own as the Statistics. His invention and willingness to experiment, whilst not always successful, was the best thing about Desaparecidos; and now he has escaped the tiresome, self-pitying, acne covered lyricism of Bright Eyes singer songwriter Conor Oberst, you feel a twinge of hope for the guy.

With the exception of the drumming on three of the tracks, Dailey has performed all the music himself. The music is a mixture of electronic with rock guitar riffage. Certainly there are nods to Dntel (although nowhere near as minimalist), Smashing Pumpkins and mid-eighties New Order (this is especially clear on the third track, Hours Seemed Like Days), and Dailey likes to cram his influences into each song. Not that the E.P. becomes a sorry collage of his record collection, its structure and identity is clearly his own.

I felt that the two instrumental tracks, (A Memory) and (A Flashback) were the strongest. Unencumbered by words or vocals, there seems a greater willingness to experiment and the songs are better for it. Not all the right buttons are pushed, but this kind of eclecticism, when combined with more generic rock guitar is very welcome. Hopefully these type of tracks will not become mere interludes when the album is released later on this year.

Elsewhere on the E.P., Another Day is the best of the other tracks, really grabbing the listeners attention with its Interpol style electro-rock opening sequence, although its lyrics of small town boredom and stagnation : 'Another day / Where everything's the same / And nothing ever changes' have been a little overdone, and unlike, for example Spoon's Britt Daniel, does not add anything new to that genre.

Aside from its lyrical shortcomings, the E.P. leaves you with the impression that Denver Dailey is someone with a lot of potential, who could have a fine album out this winter.


Andrew Kelly