September 12, 2002


Idaho : We Were Young And Needed The Money

Date: September 3, 2002

Label: Idaho Music

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Yelping and yapping through lo-fi tales about rusted cars, suicide, and misplaced motivations, Idaho’s Jeff Martin is part savant, part sad sack. Whether barking over frazzled grunge (“Teeth Marks”) or soothing himself with Vic Chesnutt-worthy ballads (“Social Studies,” “A Second Chance”), Martin seems like a man out of time.

Culled from sessions recorded between 1992 and 2000, We Were Young... reveals a character comfortable reveling in twisted memories. In “Shoulder Back,” guitars swirl around Martin as he howls like a war survivor; the flailing grunge of “Flat Top” is tempered by cloudy guitars, though Martin’s mystery tale of “jumping to the bottom” of some black lake feels like a horror story in the making.

Still, for all its bleak intent and cathartic emotionalism, We Were Young... is darkly beautiful, even touching. Maybe Martin is just more honest than most, or perhaps he needs therapy. But this probably won’t help with the money thing.

Ken Micallef

CDNOW Contributing Writer