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Sultans Of Sentiment

The Van Pelt

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Album Review

The second and final full-length release from the Van Pelt is really so good that it makes their breakup one of the most painful aspects of listening to the record. Their formula works brilliantly on this ten-track CD, with Chris Leo's grueling spoken vocals clearly paving the way for the evocative rock the rest of the band contributes. Over climaxing guitars and airy build-ups, Leo's abstract musings brim with emotion and, on tracks like "We Are the Heathens" and "Let's Make a List," his creative wording gives amazing credibility to his thoughts on social outsiders and the business of teaching. The arrangements are still pretty heavy on this record, unlike some of the more arty restrained rock on his later releases with the Lapse, and the band is as unafraid to rock out as Leo is to bring himself to the sort of unrestrained and slightly unmusical screams that give true feeling to "Don't Make Me Walk My Own Log." The Van Pelt aren't for everyone, and Leo certainly has the ability to drive some listeners crazy with his often monotonic mumbles, but the odd combination of subtle oddities are enough to make this a standout record from a standout band. No matter where you stand on the nuances of their craft, there's no denying that they do what they do in a smart and original way. ~ Peter J. D'Angelo, Rovi


Formed: 1995

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

The Van Pelt formed in New York City in 1995. With former Native Nod singer/guitarist Chris Leo at the helm, the band's original membership included Brian Maryanski on guitar, Sean Greene on bass, and Neil O'Brian on drums. The first full-length release of the band, Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves, was released on Gern Blandsten in 1996 and achieved a modicum of college radio success. Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves reached number 39 on the Gavin college radio charts, recalling a more melodic...
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Sultans Of Sentiment, The Van Pelt
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