Old Theatrics review by The Minor White

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  • Released: Oct 21, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (2 votes)
The Minor White: Old Theatrics

Sound — 8
The Minor White gave people something new in the realm of orchestral rock and something vintage reminiscent of The Beatles circa Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on their 2007 EP, Daily Vacation. They are a rock quintet that has revolutionized rock music with shades of electro-pop glitter, neo folk's pensiveness, and springy orchestral chimes, and they continue to exercise their creative urges using a folk rock sediment and streaks of chamber-pop for their latest full-length album, Old Theatrics. Lead singer Roy Williams mitigates a distinct rawness and melodicism in his resonance that gives the songs an above average grade. His brother Kevin Williams on guitar and keyboards and Kyle Wall also on guitar and keyboards solder melodic rock bolts along screens filled with electro-pop ethers while bassist Ian O'Hara and his brother Shane O'Hara on drums infuse the songs with rollicking beats tailored to the shape of the melodies. Old Theatrics is adult contemporary rock that gives audiences a new impression of this mild form. The music is inspiring, and shows influences from classic sources of inspiration. Most of the album has a soft rock glide with petit crests and slopes gently heated in acoustic coals like the guitars through Money For Puppets or the light piano flutters played by Roy Williams on Fever Scene. The country folk glint of The Minor White's songs are liken to Blue Merle and dovetail with the strips of electro-pop glitters along Go To Hell creating a pensive aura while a hot tempered guitar solo embeds the tune with passionate spikes. The carnival-like chimes of Vaudeville have a happy bobbling contrasting the bluesy folk textures of Sanctuary which have an attractive calmness. The catchy seesaw sway of Old Fashioned Drinker (In A River Of Glue) and Most Things have a soft rock coiling, while the tender application of softly brushed guitar strokes along Pale Ideas and I've Burned Down Every House have a neo folk glaze liken to Death Cab For Cutie.

Lyrics — 8
The song lyrics, like the song titles point out human flaws and mistakes that people make using symbolism which seem like secret codes providing clues to what lies at the heart of the matter. For instance in "Old Fashioned Drinker (In A River Of Glue)" Williams tells, "swallowing treasure leaving everything frozen growing old," and in "I've Burned Down Every House" when he ponders, We're dreaming of every tragedy." Many of the lyrics are reflections about life and thoughts about when everything went wrong and is there any way back to feeling safe and secure. The lyrical expressions sometimes denote melancholy and sometimes hold onto hope that life leads onto a better path.

Overall Impression — 8
For anyone who liked The Minor White's record Daily Vacation, they will equally enjoy the band's new record Old Theatrics. And for anyone who likes the warm blends of acoustic tones, folk rock strokes and orchestral soars emblematic of Death Cab For Cutie and The Decemberists will find The Minor White's music very satisfying. The lead vocals of Roy Williams intensify the meaning of the lyrics and give the songs an above average quality. The music harbors classic intonations reminiscent of songwriters such as John Lennon and George Harrison, and modern engravings that produce an outflow of harmonies whose footings are based in current trends. The Minor White take an alternative turn and a contemporary approach to pop music that many people will find attractive.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Is "Go To Hell" a cover of the Alice Cooper song? I haven't heard this one but assume by their vaudeville, theatrics act that they would or should cover an Alice song.
    I just heard the song and it isn't a cover. The album is much like the Beatles in their "drug years." I think the one thing I don't like is that the singer stays with his depressed or soft voice throughout the whole album which to me is boring. "Sanctuary" reminds me of Kurt Cobain a lot. Anyways I suggest listening to the album on iTunes or in a store before you buy it because it's not a style everyone would enjoy. I think it's ok even though I'm not a big fan of about 70% of new age music.