A tempered indie rock plucked my tastes after going full on with punk years back, far more calm, yet with vastly improved melodies and a concentration on the complexities of music. Pompeii fits into this world, a relaxing album akin to the melodies of such pop punk offerings on the radio today, but with maturity and improved lyricism. (Jack’s Mannequin‘s producer, C.J. Eiriksson worked on this latest effort.) Coming off of Nothing Happens for a Reason (Eyeball Records, 2008), the first single Rabbit Ears holds the mold with quivering flourishes of violin and strings over paced, excellent drums and Death Cab for Cutie-esque vocals.
The Austin, Texas creates is a vast, serene soundscape more lively than its namesake. The melodies are those rolling hills that, unfailingly, continue and remain a little predictable save instrumental interludes as on False Alarm where infrequent buildups break any potential monotony. Knots is a welcome example; nearly pure, sweet instrumental save a moment of vocals. Throughout Rob Davidson’s drummings holds the course, as on Nothing Happens for a Reason. Unlike most indie rock offerings, Rob frequently adds variety via floor toms, shifting the focus from the typical cymbals to a more varied sound.
While Pompeii excels with tracks such as Nothing Happens…, the middle drags a bit with not as much variety as the beginning and end of the album. It’s more the genre though, as the band is undeniably talented. Some could have been shortened, speeding up the album and making it a bit more lively. Production-wise, the violins and strings are too bright and, despite giving a natural tone to the album, lack warmth.
Nothing Happens for a Reason is far from a sophomoric slump, delivering lasting lyrics carried by Eiriksson’s handiwork. Rabbit Ears and Ready / Not Ready are guaranteed to ease into your ears after every listen, pulling you deeper into Pompeii’s lush and serene landscape.
MP3: Pompeii – Rabbit Ears