When terms like "indie," "singer/songwriter," and "open mic" are flung around, a (perhaps unfair) stereotype can build in the prospective listener's mind. What happens to me, particularly with the "indie" thing, is that I sit around and ponder on the meaning of the word. Is this a category, meaning that the artist is 'independent' of the mainstream? Or is this actually a musical genre?
Well, since there are no good answers to these questions (Not entirely accurate, since we all know that the real answers are: "It means nothing," "What, are you, like, 50 or something?!", and "Dude, just listen to some Pavement."), I don't let the indie thing bother me. Well sure, I do have a general idea of what folks are getting at, it's just that I really hate to let a label cloud my judgement.
Kurt Reifler's background contains the singer/songwriter thing as well as a bit of indie rock, both of which can be heard on this debut album. You can hear open mic sensitivity as well as echoes of the gnarly, nonlinear grind and sway of Reifler's funk rock group Sexred.
Indie rock? Ah, who cares! What I like are the jagged shifts in rhythms. Right from the start "Every Town" (an ode to travel, sort of) moves from some open chord strumming to the strutting main theme to the tense start & stop of the bridge. One of my big complaints against "modern rock" remains that guitar solos were removed and replaced with...nothing. So you'd end up with songs that had no real partitioning. Oh sure, there was the loud part, the soft part, and then maybe a reprise of the loud. To my ears, only bands like The Pixies and Nirvana were successful taking that approach. The uptempo songs on Reifler's album further are illustrations of how to spark interest by avoiding the ordinary.