It's mildly ironic that I've been in NYC almost two decades and been a pretty obsessed music fan for the duration, yet the bands around town have been pretty uniformly terrible for at least the last five or six years, if not more. The Hold Steady started to turn the tide in the proper direction, and bands like Steve Shiffman and the Land Of No and The Silos are helping to bring things back to a proper equilibrium, but things are still pretty bleak around these parts. And before you start crowing about The Strokes or The Walkmen, take a second and ask where they are now. Then realize that Vampire Weekend will be checking into The Rapture Suite at the No-One-Gives-A-Shit Arms before Winter's over and listen up while the adults are talking.
aldenbarton is another of the good ones. No white belts or Arabic scarves, just three dudes that have played together for years, keeping the dream alive. The band sprang from the ashes of indie darlings Princeton Reverb Colonial and settled in Queens a couple years ago, then got a house and set to giving the local scene a much-needed kick in the ass of their stupid Mom Jeans. They ply their trade in the three-piece format, with a Fender Rhodes handing the chordal end of things. Andrew St. Aubin helms the good ship aldenbarton, tossing hook after hook at you, song after song, until you're forced to either sing along with wild abandon or strangle him for being so damn good. Don't think the rhythm section is going to go easy on you, either. Paul Bates and Jim Wood are lock-step tight all over Exodus Of The Eldest, with bassist Bates providing stellar harmonies to make you feel even worse about your shitty band. That dull clunk you just heard was the bar being raised for bands here in the NYC.
And all over the place. aldenbarton are doing an end-run on crappy labels and lazy distros by getting Exodus of the Eldest out into the digital realm. It's out today on I-tunes. Get it here, and realize it's not the only Apple connection you're going to get for your digital dollar. If you liked the Elephant Six stuff or maybe Head Of Femur, this is right up your alley. If it's not, it should be. Check out the aldenbarton web presence here and get your social networking on with them here, here and/or here.
If you don't believe me, aldenbarton are also band of the moment at The Tripwire. Now go and cop that shit. And, yeah, you're welcome.