The Boston Phoenix
December 12 - 19, 2002

Idaho
WE WERE YOUNG AND NEEDED THE MONEY
(IDAHO/RETROPHONIC)
* * *

Odds-and-sods collections that equal proper studio albums ó such as Oasisís The Masterplan and the Jamís Extras ó are the exception rather than the rule. But We Were Young and Needed the Money, Idahoís version of such a collection, is one of those rarities. The disc features unreleased tracks recorded by the California slo-core pop outfit between 1992 and 2000. The bandís mix of lo-fi guitar textures and gradually building dynamics is a welcome throwback to the quiet intensity of late-í80s/early-í90s indie bands like American Music Club and Red House Painters. They surround singer Jeff Martinís pleading vocals with distressed guitars, swirling hazes of noise and feedback, and, on "Nothing Wrong," humming bass and what sounds like toy piano. Occasionally the sparse backdrops give way to drawn-out solos, but the wintry moodiness of the material is never interrupted. And itís that consistency that makes these previously unreleased tracks as compelling and even as cohesive as Idahoís 2001 CD, Levitate.

BY ANNIE ZALESKI

this review is/was online at The Boston Phoenix
and is available here for archival purposes only