Being You

Attic Of Love

Ocean Records, 1997

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


In all my years of reviewing music, I've discovered some of the best moments in music don't come from the established artists, they come from the up and coming groups fighting for space on your CD player. I look forward to the day's mail to see what new treasures await discovery.

So when a package arrived containing a CD by the band Attic Of Love, I was surprised for two reasons. First, the package was unsolicited. Second, the CD contained some of the most exciting music I have heard in a long time.

Their debut disc, Being You, is one of the most mature works I have ever heard from any band. In some ways, the band reminds me of Jethro Tull - could be the fact that lead vocalist Andrew Tisbert also plays acoustic guitar and flute. But the similarities stop there - the songwriting and performances by Tisbert, guitarist Andrew Gillings, bassist Michael Sutfin and drummer Michael Speziali create their own sound and groove. Tisbert's vocals sound a bit like Candlebox - possibly another reason why I like this album so much.

You can tell in the first few seconds of "Stealing Einstein's Brain" that this is no ordinary debut effort, from the peculiar time signature pounded out by Speziali to the sparing use of flute by Tisbert to a serious song based on a rather silly title. The song tells of a man's dream to release the world from all its problems by swiping the remains of Einstein's brain and unlocking the secrets it holds. (And if you read the lyric sheet, don't laugh about the brain sitting on a trophy shelf - they're not far from the truth.)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

It's amazing that Attics Of Love can take song titles that sound like something a band like The Dead Milkmen would have thought up and craft songs much deeper in meaning behind them. "Cripples In Love," another fine example, deals with the emotional scars left in an adult's mind - an adult who had been raped as a child. "Cambodia" reminds us of the horrors committed in that land while many countries did nothing to stop them, while "hold my family" tells a story that could have come out of the newspapers.

But not all of Being You touches on such serious subjects. "Like A Child" is one of the most beautiful love songs I've heard, while "Precious Time" features outstanding guitar work, and "Corpse" is powerfully haunting.

In fact, my only criticism of this disc is that it's way too short - spanning nine songs and just under 42 minutes, Attic Of Love leaves you wanting more more, more!

Listening to this disc, it's hard to believe this is just a debut album. With the maturity in both performance and songwriting, I'm both thrilled and scared at the future this band has. I'm thrilled because of how good they are, obviously.

I'm scared because, being on a small, up and coming label, they may tend to get overshadowed by the major releases. And this, kids, is a God-Damn Shame. Attic Of Love should be given the chance to get airplay, the chance to become stars on MTV and the chance to top the charts. Hell, let's be honest - if I hadn't gotten the disc in the mail, I probably never would have heard of Attic Of Love. Thank Jah for media promotion!

Being You is an outstanding album by an outstanding group - if given a fair shot by the industry and radio, this band could be the item of the year. It may be a little tough to find this CD (though two of the three big Internet music superstores carry the disc), but it is definitely worth the effort.

Editor's Note: Since the release of this disc, the label has apparently folded... pity, they were nice people over there. You can still get this disc through the band's Web site as of this reposting in August 2000.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1997 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 Ocean Records, and is used for informational purposes only.