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in june


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Alternative/indie rock

Status:

Most recent release, Give Me the World (2001)

See also:

Band no longer seems to have a web presence (01/09)

Kirsten Rian's site

Comparisons:

A little like Mecca Normal in the noisy guitar/fierce vocals combination and the guitar work reminds me a little of Long Fin Killie. (Neile)

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Strong vocals, noisy guitar, steady beat. For the details, see album comments below. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

exit the blue only album to date

Recordings:


exit the blue

Release info:

1997—Rust Records—IJR 006

Availability:

Indie stores in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for rock fans

Group members:

Kirsten Rian—voice
David Weigel—noise
Jeff Cavanaugh—skins

Comments:

A giant humming bumblebee, sonic space guitars cry out "prog rock" then add melodic almost gothic guitar lines, and then from far off another planet this woman's voice stretches in, an Alanis Morissette purity in her scream, all raw emotions upfront but then she drops down into a deep, dark, crazed, raspy Kristy Thirsk-y (of Rose Chronicles) whisper...asking only "what if?". That's track 1 on exit the blue from Portland band, in june. Track 2 wanders deeper into "Ecto" land, with Jane Siberry having a beer with the Cowboy Junkies in a bar where a drunk named Chris thinks everyone is his friend but vows to shoot himself "before he gets old and he probably will", a sad/happy cool little ditty. A jazz flavor floats in on singer Kirsten Rian's smooth vocals and the drum kit work on track 3, but suddenly the song makes an unexpected left turn half-way into harder territory, yes, it's the old "up-tempo grunge chorus" trick. What lifts it out of the ordinary Alt territory is the dark hysteria lurking behind the sweet little la la la la she sings over the chorus. Drummer Jeff Cavanaugh keeps all the lines clean and adds a needed solidness throughout the CD. David Weigel's very heavy-feeling guitar work behind this voice creates a very unusual mix that strikes a different chord & works well on some tunes. New category: Jazz/Grunge?
     The middle of the album dips into the formula too often for me & the grunge/alt feel occasionally detracts from the shimmering vocals. Quiet spacey ballads that are trance-inducing with sudden heavy-guitar turns shake you awake perhaps rudely, but are also what make this band different. Track 9 is a stand out, the clean acoustic guitar feel lightens and moves the song closer to a pop hit & Kristen's vocals take a pretty song into new territory, as she moves from an experienced jazz-slide to a sweet whisper, then into a growl that is a fingernail dragged across the blackboard of rage all in one line. Amazing!
     Sometimes the hard guitar/soft vocal combo works with her Björkish howls, and you must admire a band taking genre chances in this sold-out pit, but the odd combo also occasionally points up the difference between rock n' sold and something further. An example is track 12, a sweet, mourning funeral-slow trance, but unlike a Junkie/Mazzy song, you dare not drift off 'cause someone might sneak up on you with a scream and a wailing guitar that throws you roughly from dream to nightmare. 7 minutes of silence later an excellent hidden dream track comes in with slate-grey-day lyrics invoking the Portland winter feel of this "tired town" and the whispered message "Hey, what good is a house if you can't burn it down?"
     Fans of interesting new female voices will love 1/2 of this album, uneven but interesting, sweetly jarring and worth the listen. FAVS: Track 1 "Exit the Blue", Track 2 "Chris", Track 3 "Hysterical", Track 9 "Seattle", Track 11 "Rust", Track 12 "Where I Live", Hidden Track 13—Unlisted. (cyo@landoftheblind.com)

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