Some lovely music from Rochester

James Tabbi and Thomas Ferrara play an almost textbook style of "alternative rock." Back when that term was coined in the 80s, this is the sound that inspired it. Loose melodies, understated harmonies, tight rhythm sections and ringing chords. And often not American. After my first listen to this set, the two bands that popped immediately into my mind were the Go-Betweens and Echo and the Bunnymen. So yeah, these guys are good.

The Heroic Enthusiasts
Memory Wheel EP
And they hail from my birthplace, Rochester, N.Y. So that's cool, too. The four songs are off-handed gems, tightly-crafted songs played with just enough inattention to leave an entrancing haze. My only real complaint is that there are only four songs. Because I want to hear a lot more.

It's tempting to go nuts about a band when its first effort is something this spectacular. History tells me to calm down and see if the boys can replicate this spectacular set. Especially when the "band" members have been making music together for a few years. But I think I'll let myself get a little crazy on this stuff. Even if the Heroic Enthusiasts never reach these heights again, Memory Wheel will always be amazing.

[sigh]. I think I have to listen to this another hundred times or so. I have a feeling even that won't get it out of my system. So it goes.

Jon Worley

return to A&A home page