Leave Your Name
Jade Tree Records
We got an inkling of
what Statistics' mastermind Denver Dalley was up to with his June
2003 self-titled EP. Now along comes his debut full-length, also
released on indie powerhouse Jade Tree Records (Pedro the Lion,
Girls Against Boys, Jets to Brazil).
With his EP, the one-man
recording project by the guitarist of Saddle Creek Records indie
rock outfit Desaparecidos delivered a stew of buzzing electronic
noises, sharp kick drums, synths and Pixies-style tonal guitar that
felt like low-octane Depeche Mode or New Order. Not bad for a first
Now with the 11-song
Leave Your Name we get more of the same, only better, more
confident, and more thought-out. The synths have the same buttery
consistency, the guitars the same bouncing crack. But this time
his breathy voice is stronger, more self-assured. You get a feeling
that our boy Denver was just figuring out where he was headed on
the EP. And though this is far from where he wants to be, it more
clearly defines his position on the musical map.
The opening solvo on
"Sing A Song" goes out to us dirty writers: The critics
take their pens / Comparisons made in names / Dropped in all bold
face / To sound like his best friends. But it's more about the
fleetingness of songcraft, as it reflects this album's whole world-weary
feel. The lush, beautiful "The Grass Is Always Greener"
and instrumental "Mr. Nathan" are the ones that are going
to get compared to Disintegration-era Cure, even though Dalley's
lonely vocals in no way resemble Robert Smith's. Instead, the songs
have that same Cure shimmer/sheen created by combining clear guitar
tones with layers of cascading power chords.
Meanwhile, on stuff like
"Accomplishment" and the EP holdover "Hours Seemed
Like Days," you can almost imagine what the song would sound
like sung by fellow Desaparecidos' bandmate Conor Oberst. If Statistics
has made one thing clear, it's how important Dalley was to that
band's overall sound. With the fate of Desaparecidos firmly up in
the air, it's nice to know at least part of that band's sound will
Posted Jan. 9,
2004. Copyright © 2004 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
this is far from where he wants to be, it more clearly defines
his position on the musical map."