Idaho (Caroline)

Idaho has gone through some changes since 1993’s “Year After Year” was released. Founding partners Jeff Martin and John Berry have gone their separate ways, and this latest excursion into Idaho territory was recorded entirely by Martin, except for a few drum tracks. Gone is the narcotic daze which permeated its earlier work, and though the disposition is more upbeat, shoegazers will still find plenty to look pensive about. The subtle, yet shimmering guitar playing of Martin expresses his songwriting maturation and lyrical coming of age. Like the name, Idaho sprawls like the endless sky of the great Northwest, but a way out is the last thing on your mind as you forget everything but the music. Slow? Very. Boring? No way. “Drop Off,” “Drive it,” “Fuel,” and the reflective “Stiil” show Idaho at its bluntest and its grandest. And you can’t just sit on the fence either, you’ll either love the melodic feedback, drama, and majesty or curse your sore, yawning jaw. If s hard to tell which Martin is feeling.


John Livingstone, Gazette correspondent