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splendid > reviews > 10/27/2005
Condo
Condo
306 Duress Ave.
Self-Released


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Terminal"

Buy me now
Like many bands in their developmental phases, Condo can be slightly frustrating. They do some things remarkably well: for example, the way they use instrumentation and vocals to add rhythm and percussive elements to the songs, rather than melody, is remarkable. Sometimes they have guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals all going at once, as in "Thoughts at Conclusions", and each of these is essentially working as a percussion instrument. They might remind you of Bloc Party; at their best, Condo's new- or no-wave blasts can shake hips with the cream of the dance punk revivalist crop.

Condo may have a good handle on this particular facet of their music, but they're guilty of some pretty severe missteps in other areas. The robotic, new-wave guitars, for one, sound cool for the first couple of tracks, but will eventually make you yearn for a softer, less jagged tone. Likewise, James Roe's David Byrne-like spoken vocals initially seem interesting, but without variation he quickly becomes grating. Even the most hardened indie listeners will long for a hook and a melody after three or four songs. Unfortunately, there's no melody available at 306 Duress Ave.



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