Best New Artist
What sort of indie band is The Package? The kind of "indie" band that sends us a flier titled "AZ's Biggest Indie Band Releases Debut Album" despite their only scheduled show being at a small club in Prescott next month. The kind of "indie" band who has girls wearing their official underwear pictured in their MySpace Top 8. The kind of "indie" band that (unironically, it seems) calls their record Best New Artist.
Somewhere, Frank Black is crying.
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Now, all that probably makes you think The Package's debuet is a lot more awful than it is. In truth, they're a pretty average local "indie" band, considering they've been together a short time. They should have waited until they jelled to record an album, though, as Best New Artist shows.
The band has some good ideas, and good melodies, but they're not fully fleshed out. The band's chaotic history (as described in excruciating detail on their MySpace) probably explains a lot of that. But just because you can teach everyone in the band a few songs after managing to hold it together for a few months doesn't mean you should take that band in to the studio to record 13 songs. An EP, maybe, but not an album.
The second song "Somethin, Somethin," is the perfect example. It's a catchy little number, but its really rough. The guitar work is pretty great, but all the transitions are poorly executed and the vocals are ridiculously muddy. With a few more weeks of intense work it could be a real jewel but, as presented, it's forgettable.
Oh, and about those vocals. I have a high tolerance for whiny indie singers, but the singer, Adam Earl, doesn't do it for me. His high-pitched, yet oddly gruff voice makes Death Cab's Ben Gibbard sound like Sinatra. I wonder if the band will ever be able to move past the problems that voice brings, but, if they do, they have a lot of ideas to work with. In the meantime, they should tone down the hype and put that work in to their songs.