Earnestness in popular music comes with risks attached. Not least of those risks involves communicating with listeners in ways that are immediately understandable. "Ogre Hands"-the flipside to Vinny Vegas' 2010 single "Mallets"-is almost snarlingly earnest, a scrabbling trawl through the disappointments and resignations of adult life that suggests a more emo, less balladic take on Pearl Jam's "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town." The rest of the Baltimore band's catalog is thematically similar, a roiling mélange of styles that congeals into a sort of avant dad-rock stew: a slightly off-kilter normal that doesn't quite gel with the anarchic, nu-punk, and defiantly experimental sounds with which the City That Bleeds is often associated...
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Baltimore City Paper, 501 N. Calvert Street, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore, MD 21278
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