Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Rationales - The Distance In Between (2011)

The Rationales singer/songwriter David Mirabella may be in a permanently depressed state, but fortunately he's managed to keep it a secret from his band, who prop up his introspective songs with the sturdy Americana of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and the chiming jangle of early REM. The resulting hybrid - a rootsy, melancholic power pop - sounds so immediately familiar that it could be easy for some listeners to overlook if they don't take the time to appreciate the finer details in the band's arrangements. Whether it's a contrapuntal keyboard figure in opening track "Real Life" or the arpeggiated lead in the pop perfection of "Jaded", the Rationales aren't afraid to disrupt their own smooth surfaces by forcing the instruments to spar for attention, and it's exactly that aspect that sets this Boston band apart from so many like-minded ultra-melodic moody popsters, from the Gin Blossoms to patron saints Buffalo Tom. Give The Distance In Between some time to sink in, and you'll be rewarded with a magic beyond its obvious hooks - and hey, those hooks by themselves should be strong enough for an army of positive reviews, it's just that there's much more going on here than a casual first listen might suggest.  

The Rationales on Bandcamp
The Rationales on Amazon

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