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Bred on the healthy pop influences of XTC and Richard Davies, Minneapolis' Work of Saws was initially conceived as a hobby project of singer/guitarist Brock Davis. Using a beat up tape recorder, Davis began compiling hundreds of one- to two-minute "songlets" that ran the stylistic gamut, including country-pop vignettes, playful punk/pop ditties, and Brill Building-inspired pop songs. Beginning to realize the potential of his copious songs, Davis enlisted the help of bass player and principal member Dave Salmela, who began augmenting the material with piano arrangements and backing vocals. Rounding out the lineup soon after Salmela's addition came guitarist Kurt Froehlich and drummer Greg Barnell. Davis' prolific songwriting ability and his penchant for a lo-fi recording style, short songs, oblique titles, and idiosyncratic lyrics quickly earned the band superficial comparisons to indie pop heroes Guided By Voices, although their dynamic genre shifting belied a talent that would defy a relegation to mere copycat status. Culled primarily from Davis' early tapes, Work of Saws released their epic largely acoustic 44-song debut album Motivation and Watertower Grammar in the spring of 2001, to much acclaim from the local and national indie underground, while their energetic, crowd-pleasing live shows continued to broaden the band's fan base. ~ Bryan Carroll