Dead Times: Midnight Glass

Title: Midnight Glass, the duo's 2009 LP.

Basics: Phoenix's Travis Bunn and Calvin Markus have a pretty decent following compared to most acts reviewed here in You Asked For It. They have already had plenty written about them, including one guy who deemed Midnight Glass the best album of 2009

While I beg to differ, there is plenty to like about this band and their ambitious sound. Dead Times kicks convention in the face and slowly descends into a dark, dingy cavern of experimental music. However, the band's disregard for tempo and album arrangement hinders their work as a whole.

Best Song: "Mirrors in Reverse" has to be the best song on the album. It starts things off with a fantastic pace, giving listeners all sorts of hope for what is to come. Unfortunately, there is nary another track like "Mirrors" until the album closer "Moonlit Lies," which comes in as a close second for best song. "Mirrors" has a perfectly dark piano, withering synths and other generally dark/creepy wails and howls. One of a handful of tracks to feature vocals, "Mirrors" doesn't exactly overwhelm you with spectacular vocal range, but that's beside the point given Dead Times' sound.

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Worst Song: This one is hard. Midnight Glass is about 16 minutes too long, and the album clocks in at only 22 minutes. I understand the band is trying to set a mood and whatnot, but if you take away the aforementioned "Mirrors in Reverse" and "Moonlit Lies," Glass turns into some sort of unlistenable chunk of way-too-out-there experimental/art music. I get the feeling both Bunn and Markus have a clear vision, however their sound can be pretty dense and off-putting. Sure, someone might raise a stink about how I don't "get" what they're doing (I'm not in the band, for fuck's sake), but I "get" it when something is fun to listen to and enjoyable, and I "get" it when something is dense and too weird for its own good. This is the latter.

Suggested Changes: Write more songs like "Mirrors in Reverse," ones that can feature vocals, can show that your band is out-there and can also be entertaining. Don't sacrifice listenability to show everyone how affected and left-of-center your ideas are -- we already know that. It's why you started a band in the first place.

Grade: B-

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street
Phoenix , AZ 85032

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