Pin It
Favorite

'Interventions kknd Lullabies,' The Format 

by Leah Sottile


As far as teenage pop music goes, there isn't a whole lot that can transcend and speak to older age groups. Characterized in recent years by elementary chords, immature lyrics and male singers still waiting for a voice change, the whole category of music sells out from the get-go. Teen pop seems to just produce and reproduce the terrible music of bands before them (see: Blink 182, A Simple Plan, Sum 41).


Though they're few and far between, it's always refreshing to find that there are youngsters out there producing reasonably intelligent and thoughtful music. The Format is groundbreaking within its genre, but the duo still has a long way to go before it can cater to a wider audience.


Their debut is a page ripped from the journal of a teenage boy -- or at least it seems to be. Nate Ruess and Sam Means have vocals similar to Ben Folds, but with the immaturity of Ben Kweller. They couple their ballad-like songs with synthesizers, drum machines and acoustic guitars, unfortunately emerging with an awkward, unpolished product.


The first single, aptly named "The First Single," is hardly representative of the rest of Interventions and Lullabies (Elektra). It's an excitable, drive-with-the-windows-down song, with Ruess and Means practically laughing out the lyrics.


But the happiness stops there. The rest of the album takes on the attitude of a spoiled teenager wanting to run away from home. While it's OK to vent those feelings through a few songs, the Format makes the mistake of singing about their angst on every single song on the album. It gets old fast, and I spent the rest of the time listening to how many times the words "leave," "leaving," "gone" or "alone" popped up on the album.


While I commend the band for exploring new instrumental combinations, they often cram too much into one song. On "Tune Out," the duo starts the song off slow, creating a nice conversational tone with the listener. But it's completely ruined when the song lurches into a hyper chorus and hammered-out chords. It's like striking up a nice conversation with someone, then suddenly yelling at them and sprinting away in mid-sentence.


The Format has a fair grasp on how to create decent music, but they don't really get past musical adolescence here.





Publication date: 1/15/04
  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Magic in Six Strings
  • Magic in Six Strings

    The story of Sir Richard Bishop, an old guitar and Tangier Sessions
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • Clear Skies Ahead
  • Clear Skies Ahead

    Joe Pug slayed some demons making his new album and his music is better for it
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • Ride It Out
  • Ride It Out

    Rough Congress hasn't played a show in two years, but that doesn't mean they broke up
    • Mar 18, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Joe Pug

Joe Pug @ The Bartlett

Sun., March 29, 8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Leah Sottile

  • Imaginary Friends
  • Imaginary Friends

    The very real role that fantasy plays in our everyday lives
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • Expert Advice
  • Expert Advice

    Dab? Vape? Indica? Sativa? A few tips for beginners
    • Jul 9, 2014
  • Gone Solo, Not Soft
  • Gone Solo, Not Soft

    After three decades of Melvins records, Buzz Osborne makes an awesome album by himself
    • Jun 18, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Road Goes On Forever

    Widespread Panic's never-ending tour stops in Spokane for the first time since 1999
    • Mar 11, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Music


Film


Hip-hop


Indie Rock


Review


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation