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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday Is For Tunes: The Cinnamon Band


It takes a lot for me to get excited for an EP release. I’m usually too greedy, and want the satiation of a full LP meal for my ears. However, for the new EP from The Cinnamon Band, All Dressed, I got fairly anxious in my anticipation. Rough cuts had been available on the band’s MySpace for a while, tantalizing in their gritty, glittering potential. They were so good, impressively intense for a two-man band. The songs blended with my consciousness, and rang through the hollow spaces of my being. Yet, they yearned for a little more studio time to polish the constant, delicate harmonies, and balance them with the resounding drums.

Recorded by Arlen Thompson of Wolf Parade at Mount Zoomer, finally mastering, pressing, and packaging are done, and All Dressed is complete. This four-track EP is mighty fine, a tremendous collection of songs each with the memorable caliber of a single. I love every one equally, and for different reasons. The first track, I’m Asking You, demands immediate attention, rollicking with distorted guitar and vocals by way of Memphis set to a relentlessly driving rhythm. It blasts and breaks in opposing moments of saturation and austerity that make for a monumental listen. The second track, Buena Vista, was the song that initially inspired my adoration of The Cinnamon Band. It’s my favorite kind of song: a long, slow build that crashes into the bridge set with tear-your-heart-out lyrics. You Heard What You Wanted, track three, is rooted deep within the customs, chords, and tales of rock, but delivered with a signature sound. Taking advantage of the fact their two-piece status, the band delivers a refreshingly striped down interpretation of classic themes that sound considerably more personal than its arena rock cousins. Finally, Nobody But Me, track four, is softer and slower with an unexpected display of delicate restraint. It exudes a pensive sorrow tempered by lyrics with a hint of solace that’s really been a great comfort to me.

Last week The Cinnamon Band played a series of release shows around their home stomping grounds of Virginia, and I headed south to pick up my own copy of All Dressed to cherish. The show in Harrisonburg was good times with a solid opener, Elephant Child, at one of the best bars I’ve been to in ages, The Artful Dodger. There is camaraderie between guitarist John Harouff and drummer Neil Campbell that makes The Cinnamon Band especially enjoyable live. They’re like brothers, and that connection shows in their banter and performance.

Even after many hours of repeated play, I still want to hear All Dressed again. Luckily for you dear reader, you can purchase a download of the EP on The Cinnamon Band's website. Though, I still strongly urge you to go see The Cinnamon Band live, and pick up a physical copy. As a final treat, let me offer you this video. It’s an acoustic performance of Buena Vista in the rain filmed by Casual Fridays. It ought to immediately smitten you with The Cinnamon Band.
The Cinnamon Band's website

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