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Derby – Honoring the Greats

Posted by March 4th, 2005 No Comments »

Derby: wearing their influences proudly on their indie rock sleeves.Derby
This Is The New You
By Aaron Burkhalter

Portland natives, Derby, debut with a melodic, harmony driven LP honoring 60s and 70s greats like the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Badfinger in a contemporary finish akin to the Shins, and more blatantly Elliott Smith, with mixed results.

This Is The New You starts off with the charming and promising “Jet Set,” a quietly restrained tune lightly ornamented with appealing electric chirps and twitters. The harmonies hit partway through the song, unleashing their secret weapon with great effect.

Unfortunately, This Is The New You rarely touches on anything quite as glowing as its opener, heading immediately into the lackluster and overly repetitive “Qualities.” The remainder of the LP is a mix of weaker and almost-there

Derby: wearing their influences proudly on their indie rock sleeves.Derby
This Is The New You
By Aaron Burkhalter

Portland natives, Derby, debut with a melodic, harmony driven LP honoring 60s and 70s greats like the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Badfinger in a contemporary finish akin to the Shins, and more blatantly Elliott Smith, with mixed results.

This Is The New You starts off with the charming and promising “Jet Set,” a quietly restrained tune lightly ornamented with appealing electric chirps and twitters. The harmonies hit partway through the song, unleashing their secret weapon with great effect.

Unfortunately, This Is The New You rarely touches on anything quite as glowing as its opener, heading immediately into the lackluster and overly repetitive “Qualities.” The remainder of the LP is a mix of weaker and almost-there tracks, the least of which are filled out with fairly bland, distorted guitars.

The vocal harmony is less Beach Boys than Lennon-McCartney style interplay, which combined tragically with the patented George Harrison guitar sound leaves the listener often wondering what Derby has to offer that we did not already get in Elliott Smith’s Beatles flavored career.

This influence unfortunately never wanes as the group mimics the vocal styling and guitar licks of it’s predecessors throughout the album. At its most shameless, “Get To The Feeling” even imitates the audience applause sampling as found in the title track of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The album isn’t without its brighter moments. Along with the worthy opener are “Proving,” delivering some of the sweetest harmonies of the entire LP, and the mini song “Make It New” which tragically disguises itself as intro to the weaker final track “Pay No Mind.” Each of these songs is musically restrained, showcasing their strengths without plagiarizing any obvious influences.

This Is The New You, despite most of its tracks falling short of the three superior tunes, shows a lot of promise. However, listening to the best Derby has to offer shows that if they have the confidence to stray further from their strongest influences in the future, they could have far greater success. – (6/10)


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