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The Role of Smith

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Album Review

Tabula Rasa was thrown into the emo ghetto by careless critics — and to be fair, that wasn't a completely unreasonable reaction; the band gained national attention for its contribution to the Emo Diaries, Vol. 7 album on the Deep Elm label. But its debut full-length, The Role of Smith, finds Tabula Rasa working in more of a post-punk/math rock vein, with more than a nod toward standard indie guitar rock. Song titles like "More Words Than Not" and "Are We in Our Nations Capitol?" might lead you to expect a certain level of preciousness and pretension, but these four guys are too busy rocking out for stuff like that. Sure, "Are We in Our Nations Capitol?" teeters on a crazy-legs 7/4 rhythm, the instrumental "The Eating Contest" is about three minutes too long at six, and "If You Kill Me, I'll Never Know" alternates layers of off-kilter guitar licks with more spiky rhythmic experimentation. But everything is delivered in such an unabashed spirit of enthusiasm and abandon that it never sounds affected or self-conscious. A real melody or two might have been nice, but who's counting? Recommended.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

Pittsburgh's Tabula Rasa rip away the commercial gloss of late ‘90s punk, bringing it back to its independent roots with unrestrained youthful enthusiasm. The band was formed in 2000 by grade-school pals Rob Spagiare (vocals, guitar) and Andrew Grossman (guitar). Spagiare was originally the bassist for Ear to Ear; after that group split up, Spagiare and Grossman started Tabula Rasa and added bassist Justin Campbell and drummer Jeff Kopanic. Merely a week old, the band had their first gig opening...
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The Role of Smith, Tabula Rasa
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 20 May 2003

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