Well, let me tell you, I was stoked when I saw the record label on this puppy. Level Plane put out one of the best records of 2004 that I didn't hear until 2005, namely, Coliseum's full-length debut. Now, Level Plane has put out some other stuff that I don't like; namely, screamo. But the label holds my respect, and so I came into this not knowing to expect.
The first thing to note about this release is that it is a remix album. That triggered my warning senses. Hardcore bands don't put out remix albums. Neither do screamo bands. Maybe there was a side to Level Plane I didn't know aboutâ?¦
The press sheet cleared things up by letting me know that yes, this was an electronica act, and yes, these were electronica remixes of an electronica album. Hunh. Well, this leaves a little bit of a problem for me. I've never heard the original One AM Radio material. So bear with me, I'm doing the best I can. And don't leave comments like, "why did yuo reveww this if you dont know it you jerkface blah blah." I'm reviewing it because it's my job. See the little yellow button there? Yeah. Represent.
The featured remixers on this EP are John Tejada, alias, Daedelus, and Caural. And there's even one song remixed by Hrishikesh Hirway himself. That's neat. But in accordance to the songs, I'm not quite sure where the original starts, and where the remix begins. Oh well. The general tone of this album is poppy and upbeat, featuring what you'd expect from an general indie/electronica album. And nothing really sparked my interest too much. In fact, the only track that grabbed me was "Drowsy Haze (Jane's Blocked Out Interlude)," which was the only song even resembling the press sheet's claim of the One AM Radio being a combination of Iron & Wine and the Postal Service. Because, well, that's what it sounds like. I mean, damn near exactly, Sam's voice and all.
But other than that song, nothing grabs me. Your general slew of artists trying to make their own brand of general electronica. People emulating Everything But The Girl or Sigur RĂ³s. Okay, I lied. "Under Thunder And Gale (A Black And Blue Sky By Daedelus)" is also really good, and sounds a lot like the Iron & Wine / Postal Service comparison. But "Buried Below (Gasp And Sputter Remix By Hrishikesh Hirway)" is so chopped up that all that remains of the vocals is layered harmonies just holding a pitch without lyrics. And "Fever Dream (Calling Out By The Wind-Up Bird)" is just a noisy mash of dreamy melody that, while sounds like a good Sigur RĂ³s rip-off, doesn't sound like what I expect the One AM Radio to sound like based off of the few tracks on here that resemble the comparison given to them in the press sheet. HIM. Sorry, it's just one guy. A guy who can't even remix his own song to sound good.
Now, I liked two songs out of seven on this puppy, and those two songs were really good. But I don't think this is worth buying unless you're a huge One AM Radio fan, then it might be fun to collect. Two out of seven translates into just about a 3 out of 10, if you generously round up. So that's how the score works for this release.