May 10, 2003

Euclid "Carthage"

For obvious reasons, I'm a bit partial to Euclid's debut record, Carthage. Though it's a brief affair, it hints at a band who have quickly found their sound, and are simply improving on it. From the opening, scratchy "Little Dove," their agenda is set: old-timey country music. They take a few pages from the Tarnation songbook, and with a little band stability, have made a record that is dark yet delicate, powerful yet vulnerable.

Lacing the opening track with scratchy vinyl record pops and hisses, they've created a mental nostalga, making themselves seem quite older than they really are. Throw in the dueling siren-song vocals of Katrina Whitney and Renee Raiteri, and you'll soon find yourself in a dusty old honky-tonk. All of the songs have a dirty, wind-blown streets of frontier towns feel to them; that Euclid's singers sound not unlike Patsy Cline doesn't hurt their mystique, either.

While it could be argued that they're simply following the Tarnation formula, might I argue that such a formula was quite wonderful, even if Tarnation didn't survive it? Yeah, I'll argue that one. In fact, I think that they're better than Tarnation, and considering how highly I hold them, that is indeed saying something for this little Portland band!

Welcome to the world, Euclid. I'm eager to here more.

--Joseph Kyle

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