IDAHO   This Way Out   Caroline

In the year since its gut-wrenching debut, Year After Year, Idaho’s population has fallen by one-half; the former duo has dwindled down to only vocalist/guitarist Jeff Martin. If Idaho’s new release, This Way Out, is any indication, departed member John Berry was the one primarily responsible for Year After Year’s doomy, obsessive character. This Way Out has more of the occasional lazy rays of sunlight (like “One Sunday”) that periodically poked through Year After Year’s low, grey cloud cover. The Codeine-style leaden chords and squashed-sounding vocals have been lightened up, but the predominant tone is still one of introspection and emotional exhaustion. Like Neil Young at his finest, Martin’s voice frays around the edges while his beautiful guitar lines soar eloquently and whine painfully at the same time. This Way Out is a turn away from plod-rock misery in favor of a more laconic, Robitussin-fueled sound like Yo La Tengo (as on “Drop Off”) or a less smug, more heartfelt Pavement (“Fuel”). It’s not as compelling and cathartic a listen as Year After Year but it’s also more palatable, and therefore maybe ultimately more enduring.

—David Jarman

CATALOG: release date: Oct. 11.

FILE UNDER: .Angst-driven indie-rock.

R.I.Y.L: Yo La Tengo, Red House Painters, Joy Division,