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Featuring "Birds"

Quasi

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Album Review

Why do members of indie bands have to release records with side projects? Musicians used to pour all their dedication and creativity into their own group. And now that songwriters release every half-baked idea they record, there's a dreadful lack of editing. Quasi, though, are an exception. Drummer Janet Weiss still moonlights from Portland, OR's dynamo Sleater-Kinney, but one-time Donner Party stalwart Sam Coomes is no longer distracted by his defunct Heatmiser (which now also leaves Elliott Smith completely solo), and Featuring "Birds" shows the benefit of full focus. Strangely, the song Weiss writes and sings is the best: "Tomorrow You'll Hide" has a knelling, chamber-spiritual ambience with a wood-block-accentuated rhumba beat, underpinning her double-tracked, honey vocal. Great! (She should sing lead more; at least her harmonies add flavor throughout.) But Coombs' less vaporous, more hopeful tunes exhibit a command of the '60s/'90s pop lexicon spoken throughout the Pacific Northwest. His melodies are sunny, the guitars jangle with a My Bloody Valentine whir ("Nothing From Nothing" is a less vicious "You Made Me Realize"), and the organ is a harsh, '60s-ish fake harpsichord. Additionally, Coomes' sardonic lyrics avoid knee-jerk sneering, as he postulates our anesthetized, comfortably numb, TV-marketed future in "Our Happiness Is Guaranteed" and warns, "Walt Disney can't make me happy." Even "You F****d Yourself" concludes without real rancor, tsk-tsk-style, "self-deceit is your worst mistake." Overall, Featuring "Birds" is cheerful, aggressive pop with disciplined writing, not some underfed, one-off mess of ego.

Customer Reviews

some of their best work!

".. a thousand little pleasures form a thin veneer, over lack of hope..." Next to the Poisoned Well ep, this is my favorite quasi release. They get a little more political, and edgier (in both lyrics and style) in their later releases - so i enjoy their earlier, more pop centered music. Janet Wiess' drumming is amazing! It's astounding, two people and two instruments can make such a lush wall of sound.

Featuring "Birds"

great album i want to hear some more

Top 5

I have purchased this album over ten times and every time it gets jacked, this time they will have to take my computer, and a I pod to get it, top five all time for me

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Portland, Oregon-based indie pop duo Quasi teamed singer/guitarist/keyboardist Sam Coomes and drummer Janet Weiss, who not only previously joined forces in the band Motorgoat but also married and divorced. After a 1993 split single with Bugskull, little was heard from Quasi until 1996, when the duo issued the Early Recordings collection. In 1997, Weiss joined Sleater-Kinney for their classic Dig Me Out album, but she also continued collaborating with Coomes, and that same year saw the release of...
Full Bio
Featuring "Birds", Quasi
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