Color: Red /Black Splatter
Released: 2004, April 22
Label: SilverThree / Modern City
The band’s first full length and their overall most “poppy” collection. It wasn’t necessarily obvious until now, but there were always clever pop undertones bubbling beneath the music Farrell was putting out since the Bluetip days. And now with Retisonic, he’s wearing those influences proudly on his sleeve. Unfortunately that’s kind of what holds this record back. This shift in focus is almost too much in the listener’s face on the very first track. But after a few tracks in, the band find the balance between pop hooks and angular post-punk that make Retisonic great. Songs like “Why Don’t You Write?” are beautiful examples of this, while “I Don’t Drink (With Co-workers)” feel reminiscent of the equally workplace-obsessed song “Don’t Punch Your Friend” from Bluetip’s Polymer. It’s no surprise here that the packaging is a real winner - the surprise lies in the fact that the LP version almost completely doesn’t resemble the CD version at all. Instead we get beautiful screen printed sleeve with metallic inks and a halftoned photo of the band rocking out. The back side showcases Farrell’s penchant for unique die-cuts in expert fashion. Plus, just look at that slab of vinyl - beautiful crimson with black splatter.
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