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And Nothing is #1 is one of the more understated albums of 2002. For being such a great album, coupled with the fact that it’s a debut, I was surprised not to see more press coverage. While it shouldn’t surprise me, since I myself sat on it for a few months, I still feel as strongly today as I did after my first listen.
Up Up Down Down… blend elements of harder emo such as Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike with the indolence of bands like Hum. If one thing stands out right away, it’s that these guys can sing. The vocals are shared; one effortlessly hits all the right notes while the other occasionally yells with great intensity. The next realization is that these guys can play. Acoustic guitar, occasional piano and strings mesh well with the powerful drums and distorted guitars; time changes and complex rhythms are commonplace.
It’s difficult to pin their sound because they blend so many styles. Elements of punk, metal, emo, shoegazer and math are combined with stellar results, and nothing sounds out of place. They are excellent musicians but their modesty is just cool. And Nothing is #1 is the result of four years of hard work by four guys who sound as if they were born to play music together, and it is definitely worth seeking out.
Although this CD is a year old, it was brought to my attention becuase it is getting re-released on OHEV records in a month or so. Up Up Down.. play a compelling style of hugely indie rock that is influenced by the very roots of the genre. Akin to an obvious Sunny Day Real Estate influence, the band takes what SDRE did and adds their own twist: a little spice on the vocals.
Review by Michael LeRay from Action Man Magazine