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Death In the Garden, Blood On the Flowers

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Album Review

Some rock bands have an undisputed leader who handles the majority of the songwriting. But others are more of a democracy, where each member pulls his own weight, so to speak. An example of the latter approach is certainly the L.A. quintet Irving. On their second full-length overall, 2006's Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers, it's sometimes hard to tell that it's the same group throughout, since the mic seems to be continually passed among the bandmembers. But common musical threads run through the whole album (alt-pop psychedelia), and like some of the bands that they have played alongside — Franz Ferdinand, Arcade Fire — Irving aren't afraid to show their appreciation of past new wave masters. Television-like guitar work comes into play on "She's Not Shy," while "Jen, Nothing Matters to Me" sounds very similar to vintage Cure (especially "Just Like Heaven"). Additionally, tracks like "I Want to Love You in My Room" bring to mind such late-'90s lo-fi Velvet Underground worshipers as the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers is a true alternative potpourri — quite refreshing in a day and age where more often than not, rock bands stick closely to a single style/approach.


Formed: 1998 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Los Angeles natives Steven Scott, Alex Church, and Brian Canning were asked to play an art opening in Los Feliz Village by a mutual friend in early 1998. The three musicians performed together for the first time at the gig, and decided to maintain the working relationship. Soon adding keyboardist Shana Levy and drummer Brent Turner, the band officially became Irving and began writing together. They grew close and spent a year working on their group dynamic both musically and as friends. When they...
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