Copeland

Dressed Up And In Line

Written by: PP on 26/11/2007 04:17:17

I've never been a massive indie rock fan. The whole indie rock scene has always felt a little bit tacky and boring to me, with every band sounding more or less like a clone of each other's formula: quiet acoustic or semi-acoustic riffs, soft singing and a vibe of arrogance that's seldom felt outside of the genre. But yet there have always been exceptions, bands that I've connected with, bands that in my opinion stand far above the saturated genre. Until this year's "Eat Sleep Repeat", Copeland was one of those few indie bands who held my full respect and admiration, but I felt that the record was a massive let down in comparison to "In Motion" and the debut.

Having that disappointment fresh in mind, I didn't expect much from "Dressed Up And In Line", a b-sides, remixes and rarities album from the band - it would've passed by my radar had I not received it in the post a few weeks ago. While usually I slap these kind of releases in the face while screaming "CASH GRAB" really loudly in my reviews, this is one of the few times where I'm left awe-inspired, applauding the talent that we all know the band has, that talent that just didn't materialize as well on "Eat Sleep Repeat".

The album starts off with a slow remix of the "In Motion" song "You Love To Sing". Already on this song the listener becomes convinced that Copeland is one of the best indie acts around despite the slight slip up on "Eat Sleep Repeat", as vocalist Aaron Marsh's soft and silky vocals travel through the song slowly, making it even more special than the original. I just can't stop listening to his beautiful voice in this song. It's followed by a previously unreleased song "Thanks To You", which is already miles better than anything on "Eat Sleep Repeat". Indie rock godhood? You bet. The premix of "Sleep" continues the pattern of transforming beloved old songs into a refreshed, equally great form, just like the acoustic version of "No One Really Wins". "Careful Now" never sounded impressive on "Eat Sleep Repeat", but the slower acoustic version of the track on this record is something special, bringing back nostalgia from the band's previous albums where they were the masters of combining Aaron's silky voice with quiet but meaningful instrumental arrangements.

The new (old, unreleased?) songs are excellent too. "Second Star To The Left, Go' Til Dawn" sees the band explore a heavier and much more emotionally melodic side to them, drawing parallels to bands like Anberlin and, distantly, Taking Back Sunday, whereas "Thanks To You" is a great acoustic ballad and "Chin Up" is built as softly as the slow version of "You love To Sing".

As a special treat for the fans, the band covers arguably the most famous Soundgarden song "Black Hole Sun", and does a pretty damn good job at making it sound like an indie rock song written by the band itself. The same goes for The Police cover "Every Breath You Take"; the original song has been drastically changed and fitted into Copeland's indie rock mold in a peculiar way - I'm sure you haven't heard a version like this one before.

Overall, "Dressed Up And In Line" has everything that a b-sides release needs to have. The new versions of the songs we already know are in most cases better than the originals (whether or not that's because I'm so used to the old ones already, I'm not sure), the covers have a distinct Copeland identity to them, and the previously unreleased songs and rarities are exceptional, and in most cases better than any song on "Eat Sleep Repeat". Most importantly, the release restores faith into the band, and in a way underlines that Copeland is one of the most important indie bands of today, whether you know it already or not. Start with either of the older albums and work your way to this release, and I guarantee you will be satisfied.

8

Download: You Love To Sing (Slow Version), That Awful Memory Of Yours, Black Hole Sun, Chin Up
For the fans of: old Mae, The Early November, The Spill Canvas
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.11.2007
The Militia Group

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