Album Cover
The Red Thread
Tension Pins
March 02, 2004


I'm not going to mention the country influence present in this review of The Red Thread's Tension Pins. There's really no point in even bothering to let you know about the neo-twang persuasions that run throughout the album. In fact, I don't think I'll mention it in anymore of my future reviews. Do people generally let you know if an album has a rock influence? No, of course not. I mean, rock is such a staple in music that it's fairly safe to assume it to be in there somewhere. So, today with alt-country becoming such an integral idiom in indie…rock, there's no reason to assume it won't be in the mix also. Therefore, I'll quit belaboring the obvious and just let it be assumed, and when there is an absence of twang I'll be sure to let you know. So, get used to it, and don't call me lazy. Well, go ahead and call me lazy if it pleases you. Just don't be surprised when I call the alt-country movement a bit lethargic as well. And thus, is my chief complaint with The Red Thread's latest release.

The music is there, the band is solid, and singer Jason Lakis releases his prose with velvety vocals that not only cater to the ear but sound distinctly authentic. So, besides what I've already mentioned, what's this album sound like? I would make comparisons to a mopey Red House Painters and a lesser Calexico if I really wanted to bore you. Otherwise, I'd say they sound a bit akin to Folksongs For The Afterlife if they were post-op of a sex change. I liked em' better as females. Maybe that bored you as well, in which case I wouldn't recommend Tension Pins for you, a constituent of the easily distracted horde. Raise your hand if that's you. Okay, just wanted to know who was still with me.

The flatness of Tension Pins begins to wear on you during a complete listen through the record. Be not afraid, I'll be your sidekick, your navigator, and your oracle in letting you know when you ought to put that Track Forward button to use. Could you imagine an uglier universe where record labels had so much power as to eliminate your ability to skip tracks? Maybe they would, in Huxley's Brave New World fashion, make it so that you couldn't even eject a record until it had finished its run-thru. Well, we don't live in that world, so go ahead and time travel to "New Watch" with it's cute guitar picking intro. And when that gets boring just go two tracks farther into "From The Divide" which boasts a neat-o blues guitar riff and oh-so sad break-up vocals. And since three is lucky, listen to the eerie "The Dinner Party," which could easily be a on a Scooby-Doo soundtrack, if it weren't for the chorus. Done, you're done. Congrats.

Jacob Daley

Track List

  1. The Getaway
  2. New Watch
  3. Five Below
  4. From the Divide
  5. The Dinner Party
  6. Map of the Moon
  7. Counting Stitches
  8. Postcards
  9. Clear Runs Clear
  10. Close Quarters
  11. Tension Pins