System And Station

A Nation Of Actors

Written by: PP on 08/09/2008 02:07:21

System And Station has been one of the most positive surprises I've had in a while. I was expecting a washed up, boring indie rock band when I read their description, but instead I was welcomed by a vibrant, eccentric, lovely sound on their new album "A Nation Of Actors". Just why they haven't gained any more attention yet is a mystery to me, because judging by the songs on this record, their material is exactly of the kind that not only has indie fans drooling, but also transcends genres into experimental music and alternative rock, among others.

The opening song "The Magnetic North" is a gem worth saving for a long time to come. The guitars are refreshingly original, constantly moving between chord based melodies to hooks and plain riffs, with the lead guitar offering unmissable melodic delicacies. The production has been fine-tuned to perfection, with a warm, soft sound with slight roughness on the edges allowing the gentle distortion to really float and support vocalist RFK Heise's eccentric vocal style. "Sell Out" is equally catchy, but more importantly, it showcases that System And Station are able to write songs that don't really sound like anyone else, no matter how hard you try and compare them to others. I guess that's why the band has toured with acts as various as Built To Spill, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Sloppy Seconds. That's everything from soft indie to metal to DIY punk rock for the uninformed, a remarkable achievement if you ask me.

"On The Way" is another album highlight, featuring gentle chords and a slightly faster pace, demonstrating that the band doesn't have to rely only on slow songs to be great. The guitars here are angular, curvy, and pleasantly melodic, creating a rich, rewarding overall instrumental sound. Not the landscape creating kind, but the one where you can really just feel the entire soundscape filling with bright, memorable melody just the right way.

Overall, "A Nation Of Actors" has few faults and tonnes of bright sides. It's awesome to have an indie band sounding friendly and welcoming instead of arrogant and snobby, and perhaps that's why System And Station have gained my uttermost respect with this release. Without a doubt one of the finest indie rock releases this year, don't miss this.

8

Download: On The Way, The Magnetic North
For the fans of: The New Frontiers, Built To Spill, Copeland, Radiohead
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.08.2008
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