The Rumors

Cellar Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Sometimes, I listen to newer bands, and they remind me of older, often broken-up groups. More often than not, this comparison is quite flattering, as the newer artists or band incorporates some of the previous group's sound into theirs, all the while carving out their own unique niche.

After listening to Pacific from The Rumors, I remembered just how much I liked (and how much I miss) Toad The Wet Sprocket. This 12-song disc has a lot of pleasant material on it, and while the band is still very much in the process of finding their own voice in this market, they seem like they're well on their way towards making a big name for themselves.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band - rhythm guitarist/vocalist Rob Marlin, bassist/vocalist Sam Powers, lead guitarist Jon Beyl and drummer/vocalist John Shireman - is very much rooted in the world of light alternative rock, just like Toad The Wet Sprocket were. Their style of gentle rock with a Byrds-like jangle on occasion is very pleasant to listen to, whether you're just listening to the disc after breaking the shrinkwrap or you're on your 20th listen.

Tracks like "Yesterday Again," "Strange Days," "Sacrifice" and "The Nashville Song" all stand out as proof that The Rumors have the talent to raise themselves from small-label upstarts to a group who may be one or two steps away from the spotlight. While I would have liked to have heard more harmony vocals to flesh out the overall sound, what they've created is still good; in a way, maybe it's better that they leaned towards minimalism this time around.

There are one or two missteps on Pacific, like "Don't Matter," a song I just could not get into no matter how many times I listened to the disc. But these mistakes are few, and are not anything that would kill the album overall. If anything, I'd write these off as "growing pains" that every single band goes through at their start.

What The Rumors need to do, in the interim, is to continue developing their own sound and style. Reminding me of Toad the Wet Sprocket on first impression is fine, but they do want to avoid the trap of becoming branded as a Toad wannabe on future releases. This is something that will be accomplished with more time together in the studio and on the road, so I'm sure this is something the band will easily accomplish.

Pacific is a pleasant first taste from a band who might be on the short track to fame, if given the right breaks. This is a disc you might have to search for, but if you like rock with a touch of alternative thrown in, then The Rumors are a band you'll definitely want to check out.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Cellar Records, and is used for informational purposes only.