Words by Russell Carstens
It’s about time Nate Mendel made a record of his own. The full-time Foo Fighter has kept a fairly low profile since the band’s inception, aside from participating in a brief Sunny Day Real Estate reunion and stint in the Seattle band The Fire Theft. It’s great to see him (perhaps taking a cue from his bandleader Dave Grohl) step into the spotlight with the debut album by Lieutenant, If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going To Eat For A Week.
The opener “Belle Epoque” is a slice of pleasant neo-indie folk with a breakdown possessing somewhat Sgt. Pepper’s-esque qualities. At this point it becomes apparent that the album is going to be refreshing and imaginative — Mendel has a knack for writing sunny, optimistic vocal and musical melodies.
The first of many standout tracks, “The Place You Wanna Go” starts with a beautiful intro riff that greatly benefits from the applied echo effect, making the song picturesque throughout. When Mendel sings, “Everything will be alright / if you have a little faith that we’re not alone,” it’s trustworthy and reassuring. The overall mix of the album is textured and engaging — perfect for headphone listening.
The mellow and Pink Floyd-esque “Believe The Squalor” sounds like a hybrid of the hypnotic, bass-heavy “Autopilot” by Queens of the Stone Age and something off The Dark Side of the Moon. Only three tracks in, and the album is eclectic and begging to be played louder.
“Rattled” is a slab of snotty indie rock with a bubble-grunge chorus, whose “woos” are reminiscent of those on “Cut Your Hair” by Pavement. “Prepared Remarks” is a poetic take on power-pop whose guitar solo triumphs with technical flair that enhances rather than annoys. “Some Remove” is dang-near a chilled out, nighttime beach crooner.
Mendel’s songwriting and layered production style is unexpected, leaving you excitedly curious about where each section is headed next. One would think that Mendel has plenty more tricks up his sleeve, and if this album is an indication of what we can look forward to, the future looks very bright for this project — let’s hope it becomes more than just a one-off.
‘If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going To Eat For A Week’
Dine Alone Records
© March 10th, 2015
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