Review: Engaged in Labor
by Jack Rabid
The Big Takeover
Like their 2001 debut Baby Inertia, Columbus, OH's Miranda Sound are the real deal. Breaking out of the indie ghetto with charging tunes and variety, the foursome sound like Lotion (main singer BILLY PEAKE in particular!) if they borrowed Fugazi's or Poster Children's rhythm section. Peake's sure and slightly reedy voice is constantly supplemented by guitarist/cellist/keyboardist DAN GERKEN, who alternates harmonies with singalongs, tuneful shoutalongs, and call and response parts. Their point/counterpoint work is distinguishing. Meanwhile, the guitars circle, pick, and swoop, or at other times fire away with full power, while bassist SEAN SEFCIK and drummer SCOTT HAYNES deliver hefty post-punk attack and dexterity. And far from being predictable, they have change-up lighter songs, including a nice piano and vocal tune, "Advice at Night," and a brief instrumental scrap "Change in the Meter," which is just vibraphone and toy piano and sounds like wind chimes. Producer NEAL SCHMITT manages to make the band sound massive and in your face when they're revving up, and yet the key vocals are the dead opposite of being buried.
Added by d_e_gerken on April 13, 2005