Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: Josh Ketchen and the 1000s "We Don't Belong Here"

One year in the making, "We Don't Belong Here" is the latest from Josh Ketchen and the 1000s. If you can imagine a mash up of Belle & Sebastian and The Beach Boys, you can come pretty close to approximating the sound of this most unusual band.

The first three tracks will make you feel like you have gone back in time to a 1950s high school dance. Other tracks sound like some of the indie pop you might have heard during the peak of "120 Minutes" on MTV. There is no real cohesive element that strings these songs together, other than the fact that Ketchen tries to sing on all of them. I say "try" because he is vocally challenged in that quirky, indie pop kind of way. Vocally - and sometimes musically - Josh Ketchen and the 1000s remind me of Aztec Camera, but Ketchen's pitch is all over the place and his tone too melancholy for some of the brighter pop written for the record. The lackluster production may be viewed as a plus by indie rockers, but it is not going to sit well for those who liked more polished pop.

For sampling purposes, I suggest you check out "Riverside", which is a pleasant number that encapsulates what Josh Ketchen and the 1000s do best. "Say So", the most instantly catchy track on the record, is even better. "The Rich Kids", the first single, is also notable - brassy, upbeat, and harboring an infectious chorus, this one is a keeper.

iPOD-worthy: 3, 6, 8

Josh Ketchen and the 1000s on MySpace. Official site.

No comments: