by The WoWz
You know that guy in high school who was either a complete nerd or very cool, but you could never tell which? Well, guess what: he has three friends now, they’re in a band and they call themselves The Pathways.
Ever since the heyday of R.E.M., The Feelies, and The Go-Betweens, lovers of smart, forward-thinking guitar-pop have been scraping by on a very meager diet. Enter The Pathways: an aural multivitamin from the cultural pharmacy of Brooklyn, NY. The Pathways write charmingly complex and intelligent pop songs without reference to AM radio, argyle sweaters, or nice smiles, that even people lacking advanced degrees or access to illicit substances can enjoy (not that those people are excluded—the more the merrier).
In February of 2005, The Pathways released their first 7-inch, “Productivity”, on Recommended If You Like Records—a three-song teaser that trakMARX called “the best example of its genre since Pavement’s ‘Summer Babe.’” Now they return with their first proper album, Boat of Confidence. From the opening seconds of “Kid Gloves on the Packet-Boat”—a frenzy of cymbals, shouts, and epileptic bass playing which settles into a bizarre, syncopated duet between the band’s two singers—The Pathways show off their talent for surprising musical turns. Elsewhere, “Just Like A River” fuses The Soft Boys and Joan of Arc, “Party’s Over” cops indie-soul moves from Orange Juice, and “No Cops” approximates the dynamic acrobatics of The Dismemberment Plan.
Along the way there are clarinets and saxes, frenetically jazzy drumming, guitars gently plucked and violently assaulted, sheep giving birth to baby sheep, and something called “electronics.” And just when you think you know more or less what the band is up to, along comes a lyric like, “Let’s correspond Quaker trains / Unearthing the days it rains” (from “L’Enfant Plaza”), and you think to yourself, “Oh…oh dear. Pop music can create a mood of ambiguity and uncertainty; pop music can leave you with lingering questions.”
And yet, The Pathways don't need to question themselves. Their music is assured enough to fly all over the map and still land safely at home. Boat of Confidence is at times shambolic, hissy, even a downright mess, but in the end it all makes a certain undeniable sense. To quote Alistair Fitchett of the Tangents webzine, “The Pathways make a glorious complex simplicity of a racket that’s the match of anything you care to throw in the ring. Ignore this record and this band at your peril.” QED.
The debut full length from The Pathways! 13 brilliant songs from Brooklyn's most lovable band. "This really is the sound of a new Pop renaissance... Ignore this record and this band at your peril." - Tangents
[SALE $8.00 PPD - USA || SALE $11.00 PPD - INTERNATIONAL]
The Pathways' first 7-inch! Features 3 recordings unavailable anywhere else! Pressed on beautiful "coke bottle clear" vinyl! LIMITED EDITION of 500. “As scratchy, janglesome & ethereal as their influences suggest, ‘Productivity’ is ... the best example of its genre since Pavement's ‘Summer Babe’.‘ - trakMARX.com
[SALE $3.00 PPD - USA || SALE $6.00 PPD - INTERNATIONAL]