The PhiLL(er)

Hold On Too Tight Cover

Hold On Too Tight
54 40' or Fight!

After a fifteen-second opener of do-do-do-do-do-do-do, the snare drum cracks and the first song chugs along in a Guided By Voices, bright and poppy and high-energy kind of way, sung by the lovechild of Morrissey and Dave Gedge (biological impossibilities notwithstanding). Song number two starts out with slow, reverby guitars and you think that the singer is going to start asking you to be his earth angel until he starts telling you that he prayed for you to die. If that's not enough to make Schooner your new favorite band, then nothing will and you can crawl back into your hole and keep listening to whatever junk with which you normally bludgeon your collection of drums and stirrups and hammers that you call ears. "Tears in Your Ears" is underpinned by a gorgeous and simple piano part. If at times this band's instrumentation and tone recalls this band or that band to a certain extent, it's no bad thing—it's a matter of influence being worn lightly, or submerged under the layers of talent and originality. When it comes down to it, Schooner sound like Schooner. Their songs are beautiful. "Married" is three minutes of country heartbreak and it moves straight into a Pet Soundsy number called "They Always Do!", which builds to a beautiful chorus ending, and gives way to two-and-a-half minutes of fuzz-pop glory called "I Would Tell You That I'm Stuck". Everything they do well (and they do everything well) is put together to create an aching meditation, "Hospital Floor". Lest things get too morose, they follow up that number with a less than two-minute acoustic stomper. The album reprises the do-do-dos and tucks you into bed with a warm blanket called "Ladybug". This band seems to have feasted on a banquet of the entire history of guitar music, let it digest over a couple glasses of port and pooped it out as forty-seven minutes of rose-smelling heaven. But I don't want to end this review on a poop joke, so I'll say it again: if you aren't prepared to make Schooner your new favorite band, then start lining up for tickets for the Britney Spears comeback tour, because this planet doesn't need you anymore.