20 Minute Loop -- "Decline of Day"
BIO: 20 Minute Loop was formed by guitarist/vocalist Greg Giles in 1999 after occasional appearances with vocalist/keyboardist Kelly Atkins. 20ML, as they are called, are active band in the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, and have toured in support of Stereo Total, Creeper Lagoon and Solex.
I'm really not sure what to say. On one hand, this CD has 4 tracks that will instantly be among your favorite songs the moment you play them, on the other hand "Decline Of Day" has 8 other tracks that you have to sit through to get to the good stuff.
The first track, "Jubilation" jump-starts the album, and I highly recommend that you download it from the Fortune Records' website. Next is "Moses," which along with "Jubilation" is worth the price of the CD alone. The two songs start "Decline" off on a high note, but sadly all it does is decline from there. Don't misunderstand me when I say this, what I mean by this is that the mood of the album going into the third track becomes noticeably less pop/rock and more ambient. Only at track 7 does it pick up, and with "Vaccine" 20ML pulls it together again to finish off strong.
Even though all of the tracks don't live up to my expectations two common threads prevail through the album: song writing that's full of metaphors, and an unorthodox sound thanks to both a male and female vocalist. One of the more unique aspects of the band is that most tracks have two lead vocals, Greg Giles and Kelly Atkins, giving their songs a range and flexibility that wouldn't be possible any other way. Here's where I get to my problem. How do I rate a 50 minute long album with 4 great songs when I don't like 35 minutes of the album?
Best Track: "Jubilation," is the best track on the record followed in a close second by "Moses." "Jubilation" is the story of a beaten Arab woman trying to escape from her husband (isn't every song about abused Arabs nowadays, there's no creativity in today's pop music). Its alternating male and female vocals give it an unparalleled character. It quickly became one of my favorite songs.
Reminds Me Of: Muddy, kicky baselines like cake with insane lyrics , but with a true San Francisco indie credibility.
The Bottom Line: Decline of Day has six or seven tracks that you'll fall in love with, but there's too much filler holding the CD together. It's like a banana spilt, you eat through the healthy banana to get to the ice-cream goodness under it.