The Halo Benders
"God Don't Make No Junk" CD (K)
For the most part, a couple of people from Built To Spill and Calvin from Beat Happening compose the Halo Benders. God Don't Make No Junk could be a masterpiece, but that praise isn't quite strong enough. This disc is more than that. The guitars on "Will Work For Food" alone should be enough to bring tears to your eyes, but if that track fails, "On A Tip" should finish the job. This album defines indie-pop.
"Don't Tell Me Now ..." CD (K)
Garage rock is a pretty stupid category to begin with, although it is useful to convey, among other things, that a certain band is aiming for a minimalist approach to their music. That can be anything from an absence of any sort of special effects to actually recording in a garage. The Halo Benders belong in this category only in the sense that their music is raw as uncooked haggis, although slightly less offensive. Calvin sounds like a country western singer with a dry, slow drawl and at times seems to be on the verge of slipping into a coma. He and Doug play simple two or three chord riffs, slightly angular and frequently sour as a lemon. Ralph taps along on the skins, adding a junkyard band feel to Steve's lounge bar keyboards. It's garage rock mayhem, twisted and distorted into a bastard offspring of punk, folk, country and pop. Simple categorization of the Halo Benders would only belie their inspired and unique blend of music. It's like nothing else out there, which in itself is an accomplishment. (TOM)