After a handful of charmingly lo-fi releases, Morristown, TN's HiFiDriveBy really get down to business with a real, honest-to-goodness studio effort. Life’s Not This Book You’ve Been Sold finds the band in full flower, finally realizing their full potential by properly recording their tunes.
The creation of top notch pop music relies on studio craftsmanship, and said craftsmanship is the X-factor that bumps HFDB into top notch status. Sure, it’s all about the songs. But the presentation of the songs is all important (see Guided By Voices early work as compared to their later, infinitely better recordings.)
Singer/songwriter Keith Carpenter has an ear for melody and a style that brings to mind pop masters, past and present. Life’s Not This Book finds Carpenter sounding somewhat more contemporary than on his earlier efforts, as if there’s a bit of emo creeping in among the Beatles, Buddy Holly and Big Star influences he’s had all along.
The band keeps it short and sweet, providing ten servings of pop confection that will give even the most jaded listener a buzz of delight.
HFDB’s forte is mid-tempo to fastish rockers (“Stop & Stare,”“Stars”) but the crown jewel in this collection is the more subdued “Molly Jones.” The contrast of sounds provides a nice dynamic for the album. And no, Keith’s not getting all emo on your ass, either.
released May 28, 2002
Recorded and mastered by Robert Koons at Severe Sound Studio, during the winter of 2002. Layout by Robert Koons