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Album Review

This Denver band is composed of former members of Five Iron Frenzy and the Rocket Summer, and although its members have apparently made a conscious decision to leave behind both the frenetic skank of the former and the delirious hookiness of the latter, they're still plenty frisky and their songs are still plenty catchy. This is the type of music that still gets called "alternative" for some reason, despite the fact that it could hardly be more mainstream-friendly — tightly controlled buzzsaw guitars, plainspoken but carefully modulated vocals, melodies that cruise along prettily enough until they suddenly jump into the air and fall to earth gracefully in cascades of tight harmony. This is Yellow Second's first album for the Warner conglomerate's Floodgate label, but they've previously released a couple of albums that got regional distribution, and their experience playing together is clearly audible on this very fine effort. Highlights include the pleasantly poppy six/eight rave-up "Fall Out of Line" and the equally hooky "I Can Awake," as well as a slightly less finished but still enjoyable untitled track that lurks unidentified in the album's final grooves. "Material" slogs a bit, but not enough to detract significantly from everything that comes before and after. Highly recommended, and you might want to seek out those regional releases as well.

Altitude, Yellow Second
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