• commercials It's Not What You Say It's How You Say It (CD, £4.95)

    label: Blackout Records

    The Commercials' third album, their first for a new label, is a curious hybrid: side one is made up of five rerecorded songs taken from the multitude of out of print compilations and split E.P.s that the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania quartet released before their first two full-length albums. Rescuing the tracks is an excellent idea, and their chops and recording budgets have both expanded to the point that songs like the chiming, almost power-poppy "Six Weeks of April" sound worlds better than their more skeletal early versions. The second half of the album is a concept album of sorts, five interconnected songs charting the beginning and end of a relationship, and they're a remarkable leap from all of the Commercials' previous work. Incorporating new-wavy keyboards, more complex vocals, greater dynamic shifts, and a lyrical viewpoint that's emotional without necessarily being "emo".

    Add to order