You Came Here for Sunset Last Year CDEP - Self-released

If the idea of Portland as the new Seattle is foreign to you, just listen to bands like Talkdemonic, The Decemberists and Stars of Track and Field and feel the full power of a scene ready to explode at its cloud-covered seams. Stars of Track and Field are a trio with a delicate touch. Wilting like a flower from one song to the next, the above-average, wimpy vocals of Kevin Calaba fail to be anything more than serviceable, but the twists, turns and triumphs mapped out by guitarist Jason Bell and drummer Daniel Orvik (they must loop the bass lines) dip deep below the surface of traditional mope-rock, mining a cavernous sprawl of high-ringing guitars, ride-cymbal-splashing bombast and Calaba's cries for consideration. This is just an EP, but the Stars definitely deserve to move past the practice squad, though bands such as this often fail to capture the thrust of their early work on subsequent outings. (Grant Purdum)



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