RNDM – Acts album review

The Pacific Northwest strikes again, so to speak. RNDM is a new band, this album being roughly a week old. The drummer is ex-Fastbacks drummer Richard Stuverud, and the bassist is Jeff Ament from Pearl Jam. This project is actually billed as Ament’s band. The non- ‘Seattle’ element is provided by singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur from Ohio.

The album is well written but lacks personality. From what I’ve gathered, this thing came together pretty fast and the recording wasn’t exactly crafted in an overtly painstaking manner, which is actually to it’s credit. This could explain why the songs seem to lack any real depth. I have a feeling this will work well in a live setting- this music feels like it wants to come pouring out of a set of stage monitors. As a stand alone listening experience, it’s got nothing really intriguing to offer.

The 5th track, Hollow Girl, is built on a fairly interesting chord progression that actually includes a minor subdominant. That’s fairly radical for a band like this. Aside from this, the song structure is essentially verse-chorus. The guitar tone is incredibly bland to the point of being limp. At around the two-minute mark, the bass becomes distorted and things almost rock out for a minute, and then it’s back to the same mid-tempo almost-funk. Roughly two-thirds of the way through the song is a tempo change occurs, and the song actually slows down. I think the intent was to increase the intensity of the groove; it just becomes more boring.

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