SWEATER CLUB

"Five More Minutes" (Self-released; 2006)

Reviewed by Ray Van Horn Jr.

It’s probably a given that a large chunk of you out there might call me a liar if I told you that Chicago was at one time one of the baddest funk rock units on the planet. You can blame the undermining of Peter Cetera and his Long Island Iced Tea cosmopolitanism for stripping down something so vibrant and funky into a wimpy pale shade, but take what I’m saying as the truth, because the first six Chicago albums will kick your ass, I promise you! Put that mindset into a jam room with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and forget you ever recorded the sessions and that is what makes Oregon’s Sweater Club a pretty neat surprise.

Chock-full of ska orientation with some alt rock grooves and Sweater Club’s "Five More Minutes" is a string and brass rock trip ala The Toasters with a noncommittal laidback feel to it that will have you kicking back and chilling instead of jumping around and flailing your arms like a Bosstone. With songs like “Fallen Down” and “She Just,” Sweater Club does have the tendency to amp it up, but with the swinging brass of Evan Churchill, Grant Thomas and David Stanley keeping Sweater Club grounded, the band seldom overextends itself. 

You might call “Walk Away” a ska spin on emo, which is creepy on the surface, but it’s not so much of a disaster as you’d expect because of Alec Kretchun’s seventies rock-influence on the bass that helps this from becoming a Taking Back Sunday meets The Players in some mutated corner of Kiddie Hell.

As Sweater Club occasionally dwells into a Phish-like jam mentality like on “The After Math” and “Manifest Monotony,” one gets the feeling that this band hardly takes itself seriously as much as they bask in their ability to carve out something a little more unique and perhaps catchier and breezier than their peers. 

For more information, check out www.sweaterclub.com.  

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Nov 2017 10:28:12 -0500.