Minuteman's lo-fi efforts are more glossy Shetland than Sparklehorse...it is when...
Daniel Pike 2002
Formed and led by Ultrasound keyboardist Matt Jones, Minuteman appear to have outlined their agenda with their choice of tour partners; lo-fi Americana acts Mercury Rev and Sparklehorse and, covering their rock bases; The Music and Cooper Temple Clause. Resigned to Life consists of two corresponding song types.
First up there are songs with reflective whispered melodies and a melancholy plinky-plonk fragile delicacy. More than just a shade of Sparklehorse is apparent throughout, most transparently on the foul mouthed opener "Gave You All The Blame" and on "Words Fail Me Now".
By honest comparison, Minuteman's lo-fi efforts are more glossy Shetland than Sparklehorse. To say moist mule would be taking things too far but it is when their songs are given that added rock kick that Minuteman achieve their radio friendly best.
"Big Boy" and "5000 Minutes of Pain" epitomise this rock impetus. Staggered pacing and texture are superbly executed in the anthemic "Divine Elixir". "Quality Time" seethes with vibrancy, anger and frustration as Jones reflects on daily mundacity, complaining "it's so lonely at home on my own" being "down on my knees. Is this the life I wanted? Of course it is."
Each are works of epic grandeur with colossal choruses, fuzzed guitars and a sweeping, Bernard Butler feel.
At times rather drawn out, Resigned to Life successfully avoids chugging all the way to the point of tedium. Jones' grasp of melody is pivotal in achieving this. Counter to current trends, the production is heavily polished, even when a stripped down raw sound is the apparent aim.
Despite the pervasive sense of fragility, it is the album's rock highs rather than lo-fi, erm, lows, that provide the most accomplished and memorable moments.
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