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Preludes
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: John Booker (vocals, guitar); Rachel Hirsh (vocals, keyboards); Curtis Armstead (guitar); James Hepler (drums, percussion).
  • Audio Mixers: Al Jacob; Mitchell Marlow.
  • Recording information: Warrior Sound, Chapel Hill, NC (11/2010).
  • Photographer: Thomas Pintaric.
  • On Preludes, I Was Totally Destroying It certainly try to live up to their name in some shape or form: singing "Me against the world" and relying on a big, chunky rock riff for the opening song certainly shows they're not ones to shy away from anthems. John Booker isn't cut out for rough-voiced rabble rousing as much as cleaner (if sometimes strained) vocals, while Rachel Hirsh's own lead vocals have a similar feeling emotionally, but are just that much stronger in impact on the technical level to provide an often compelling balance. There's also a funny sense of how much the music sounds like it could have been U.K. indie just pre-Nirvana; it's cheery but still a bit clean, mixed with the continuing impact of new wave hyperactivity as translated by the 21st century. (Something about the keyboards and guitars suggests late-'80s Cure.) Big choruses and a sense that they really mean it crop up constantly, and it's all very passionate in its own way. Demi-ballads like "All Get Lucky" and "Fight/Flight" provide a contrast to the full-on brawlers like "Twenty-Thousand," the album's strongest track. There's something that feels just a little off about the album regardless -- perhaps the way things sound pitched toward the high end in the mix -- and there's a sense that Preludes feels more like a coda than a start. Then again, the band seems not to want it any other way. ~ Ned Raggett
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