The Things I Say Vs. The Things I Mean

Written by: TL on 26/03/2011 19:58:42

Okay so here's a somewhat less prolific record that I've been wanting to review for a while. It's called "The Things I Say Vs. The Things I Mean", and it is the debut LP of Nashville-based quartet Commerce. The band's sound strikes me as a stripped down version of PlayRadioPlay, with playful keys mixing in with mellow guitar and bass work, while maintaining a longing, naive atmosphere, from within which come subtle emo-vocals (think Elliot Smith with a fringe) that are often complimented with harmonies in the chorus. Throw in some very occasional outbursts of gang vocals and you should be able to imagine the soundscape somewhat.

Now, the cool thing about this record is, that while it makes extensive use of melodies that are distinctly emo (think Mineral), it seems like it has let out a little of the genre's typical melancholia, in order to allow room for small measures of either hope or anger in suitable places. This makes for a slightly more varied, and thus also slightly more interesting listen, even though I do feel like the band could have effectively explored the scarce usage of more powerful vocal work just a little more.

As it is though, "The Things I Say..." is still a record that manages to engage the listener on more than a handful of its songs, most noticeably the three that constitute the second quarter of its length, namely "Back Porch Of Your Mind", "Missing Parts" and "You're The Devil", all of which have some quite catchy parts going on. To be fair, actually a lot of the songs have occasional catchy parts going on, but what I mean to say is simply that the three mentioned ones seem slightly more memorable to me.

Regardless, if you're a fan of subtle, naive-sounding and emo-ish music, and/or bands like PlayRadioPlay!, Dashboard Confessional or Cute Is What We Aim For, then this is for you, as it is a thoroughly enjoyable debut, from a seemingly confident and well-sounding band.

Download: You're The Devil, Back Porch Of Your Mind, Missing Parts, Leave A Key
For The Fans Of: PlayRadioPlay, Dashboard Confessional, Cute Is What We Aim For, Death Cab For Cutie

Release Date 02.11.2010

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