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Album Review

Nearly six years passed between Aaron Aites' second noise pop opus as Iran, The Moon Boys, and Dissolver, during which time guitarist Kyp Malone became a member of one of the most acclaimed bands of the 2000s, TV on the Radio. Maybe that's why Dissolver strips away most of the confrontational side of Iran's music in favor of the pop that was underneath the noise all along (it's almost certainly why Malone's TVOTR bandmate David Sitek produced this album). Iran fans who were more attached to the surface chaos of the band's first two albums might be initially disappointed by how this album seems to lack that bite — only "Digital Clock and Phone"'s electronics and guitar freakout hint at Iran's noise-laden past. And at times, it does feel like Iran is adjusting to their new direction: "Airport '79" and "Baby Let's Get High One Last Time Together" meander a little more than they should, though they reflect the more classic rock-inspired direction of Dissolver's songwriting and arrangements. However, the album has more than its fair share of moments that rank with Iran's previous heights, albeit with a more straightforward sound: "Buddy" is shambling and bittersweet, "I Already Know You're Wrong" moves from jangly verses to soulful choruses with surprising ease, and "Can I Feel What?" is a lush, emotional epic. That these songs sound more than a little like TV on the Radio might please some and disappoint others, but the cranky, cryptic "Where I'm Going" and "Cape Canaveral/Buddy (Reprise)," which switches from acoustic rambling to an arena-rock reworking of "Buddy" complete with cheering fans, show that Iran's strangeness is still intact. The album ends with its most irresistible song, "Evil Summer." A mix of veiled threats and bounding guitars, it proves that Dissolver isn't the sound of Iran turning its back on its past, it's the sound of a band finding ways to be more complicated, and accessible, than ever.

Customer Reviews

Great Album

When I heard Iran was coming out with a new release, “Dissolver” I was really thrilled. I’ve been a fan since the beginning and “Dissolver” is awesome! Each track has its own unique sound; from the pop-influences in “Buddy” to the feel good rock sounds of “I Can See The Future” and the totally psychedelic 60’s vibe of “I Already Know You’re Wrong.” I also love the track “Baby Let’s Get High One Last Time Together.” It is really hard to pick out just one favorite track because they are all so great. I am glad Iran is back and better than ever. I thoroughly recommend this album.

Iran rocks my world

“Dissolver” in my opinion is one of the best albums of ’09 thus far. Totally catchy Indie rock that sets itself apart from some of our current indie buzz bands. As a fan of TV on The Radio, I was extremely interested/excited to hear Kyp Malone’s new release and let me say I was impressed yet again. I like every song off “Dissolver” and I know you will too.

Hope in a sea of medocrity

Iran's new album is made up of some fresh and some familiar elements that will sustain it through the current state of mediocre music. The boring mantras of rehash from the past will soon be forgotten and artists like Iran will help regenerate a real future for music. Iran falls into the 5-10% of music that is giving rather than taking. The hooks and slick production of Buddy is definitely a stand-out track. TV on the Radio’s David Sitek continues to have his thumb on the pulse of music whether he produces or plays. If the stars align properly Iran will become a household name associated with great music.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Conceived in San Francisco in 1998, Iran began as the four-track bedroom-recording project of singer and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Aites. Playing most of the instruments himself and recruiting friends as needed, Aites released Iran's self-titled debut through Andee Connors' (A Minor Forest, J Church, Ticwar) Tumult label in 2000. The album showcased Aites' talent for balancing pop melodies with noise and tape hiss. The result was a sound like a more approachable Dead C, or like a throwback to the...
Full Bio
Dissolver, Iran
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Customer Ratings