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We Were Young and Needed the Money

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Album Review

To commemorate a decade of existence, Idaho put out this collection of previously unreleased material gathered between 1992 and 2002. While this album wouldn't be a great starting point for listeners new to Idaho's unique brand of slow-burning indie rock, it's certainly not a collection of throwaways. There are a bunch of top-notch tunes here, and this effort actually paints Idaho as musically diverse within a seemingly limited vernacular. "Teeth Marks" represents a more aggressive side, lulling the listener into a rope-a-dope and then lashing out as a full-on rocker. "Social Studies," meanwhile, is pure shiny pop. With "Much Closer Now," one of the finest tracks on the collection, Jeff Martin's bruised croon cloaks what is actually an elegant, remarkably intricate pop song tricked out with all kinds of gorgeous ephemera (backwards guitar, etc.). "This Day" is similarly melodic at times — and that's what seems to separate Idaho from groups of a similar ilk: The band often lodges spine-tingling little turns of melody amidst the slowcore atmosphere. This is a great Idaho album and shouldn't be dismissed because of its piecemeal conception.


Formed: 1991 in California

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the most prolific, consistent, and unsung acts of the slowcore movement, California's Idaho centers itself around four-string guitarist and vocalist Jeff Martin, a talented songwriter who has gained comparisons to Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters), and Neil Young from the few journalists that have paid attention. Despite the lack of recognition from the press and a low profile, Idaho has gained a decent-sized underground following through a steady release...
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We Were Young and Needed the Money, Idaho
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