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Napa Valley Rock

Idle Society
Farewell Sybil
(Idle Society Music)

Idle Society is a 5-piece band out of California who formed in 1996 and put out this 8-song release in 1997. Comprised of the fairly standard lineup of two guitars, one bass, and drums, the group plays radio-friendly pop-rock tunes that mainly wander around the middle ground, but aren't afraid to turn up the amplification when needed. One well-known (and unfortunately now disbanded) group they call to mind upon first listen is Toad The Wet Sprocket.

The disc starts out with the mellow "Souvenir" and some nice dual guitar work. While one of them plays along with the rhythm section of bass and drums, the other one is plucked along to create a nice sort of twinkling effect over the track. It's something that the group also uses in latter tracks on the release, but it works well and provides sort of a dreamy segue in the song "Valentino's Downfall" too. As mentioned above, the group cranks it up a bit every once in awhile, and after the first couple lighter tracks, they do just that on "Sleepwalker." It's one of those classic quiet verse, loud chorus tracks, but they manage to build it up fairly nicely and break out.

The last half of the release is marked by two longer tracks. The 6-minute long sixth track "One Of Two" starts out and piles things on until the group is rocking out again. It settles down again when the vocals come in and again bursts at the seams for the chorus. The seventh track "Blindfold," although just as long, takes a little different route in that its quieter and also adds a touch of synthesizer strings to give things a little more depth.

As another comparison (although I hate to do it, I sometimes have to with music I don't listen to as much), the group on ocassion also resembles work by the Gin Blossoms (yet another band who called it quits) or Dishwalla. Perhaps with both of the bands that I've mentioned retired, there will be a little more room for Idle Society, although the pop-rock market is a mighty finicky one with new flavors of the month arriving all the time. Anyway, if you like the above mentioned groups and/or easily digestible pop-rock that cranks an edge once in awhile, it might be your thing.

Rating: 6