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Indian Summer - Hidden Arithmetic (Cover Artwork)

Indian Summer

Indian Summer: Hidden ArithmeticHidden Arithmetic (2006)
Future

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
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Contributed by: feeeding5000feeeding5000
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In my lurid traversal of this world, I've found that there are really only two kinds of people: those that listen to emo, and those that post rants on Youtube saying that what the first group of people is listening to isn't really emo. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to fall into the latter category, w.


In my lurid traversal of this world, I've found that there are really only two kinds of people: those that listen to emo, and those that post rants on Youtube saying that what the first group of people is listening to isn't really emo. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to fall into the latter category, where previously I was totally unique (at least that's what my Mommy tells me).

This disc right here, Hidden Arithmetic, is a compilation of two live sets Indian Summer recorded in 1993 or 1994. The first, at Pitzer College, is a straight-up live recording, which was, up until this release, not officially available. The second recording on the CD is a live-on-air performance for some college radio station, and was previously issued as the rare Live Blue Universe CD.

Reviewing the actual music is probably the most difficult part of this. Indian Summer's music wasn't about technicality, or hooks, or how tight their pants were; it really was about true emotion. The songs do tend to follow a pattern of "quiet part, build up, fucking insanity, quiet part," but to boil it down into something so simple is doing the band injustice. The twinkly melodic parts are pleasant enough, but the real focus of the music is the chaotic bits. Just when you're completely relaxed by the sparse and, well, slightly whiny melodies, Indian Summer lets loose with pure hardcore intensity. And yes, there are screamed vocals, but they don't come across as contrived in any way -- it feels like the vocalist is merely expressing himself the only way he can.

One of the more esoteric aspects of Indian Summer's sound is the fact that, in the background of every song, some old Bessie Smith blues record is playing. It makes for a very strange atmospheric effect, especially on the radio set. It does come across as a little pretentious, but I guess that was part of their schtick.

Anyway, there are a few moments on Hidden Arithmetic where I'm just blown away by the power of the music. On track 5, which is known by fans as "Woolworm" (yeah, all of the songs are untitled, I guess that's pretentious too), the second build-up just gets me every time. When the vocalist screams, "I am the angry son!," I get goosebumps.

Both of these live shows are pretty phenomenal in their own rights, but to have them together...wow. Plus, since this is the only recording still available from the band (just try to find the discography CD on eBay, I fucking dare you), it's worth getting for historical value alone.

The only drawback I can think of is the shoddy packaging. Basically, it's a cardboard box with some map of the stars stamped on it, and some pretentious quote, in Latin, no less, about music. The CD itself is in a cardboard sleeve that's been doodled on, and each CD is numbered (I got 1902!). Unfortunately, there is no information about the band, and no lyrics -- not even a pretentious, Ebullition-esque diary entry. Still, the packaging is only a very small part of the product, and it's the music itself that matters.

To me, Indian Summer is emo, and anyone who says otherwise can go‚?¶listen to this CD. You most likely won't be disappointed.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (July 12, 2007)

fuck ya, now if only someone will rerelease the shotmaker discography.

wearestillalive (July 12, 2007)

I got number 69.

Anonymous (July 12, 2007)

real emo like maybe the rites of spring.

Anonymous (July 11, 2007)

angel hair

Anonymous (July 11, 2007)

heroin

Anonymous (July 11, 2007)

mohinder is way better than any bands mentioned.

Anonymous (July 11, 2007)

Good band, and one of the first to do this style. Of course, there became a glut of these kind of bands by the end of the nineties.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

dear feeding5000,

review some amber inn next! indian summer rules.

SloaneDaley (July 10, 2007)

Julia's S/T LP is awesome.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

I can't even begin to describe the impact this band has had on my musical taste as of late. They've opened me up to a whole new genre, getting me into other bands like Embassy, Julia, Ordination of Aaron, Car vs. Driver. I even picked up the Eucalyptus Compilation they did on Tree Records. I'm such a fan I picked up both the LP and CD version of this. Now I intend on finding all their 7"s. This band is just great. And I have to agree on the Betsy Ross records being pretentious.

vitustinnitus (July 10, 2007)

angry son and woolworm are both names attributed to the same song. i've heard angry son used more often, but whatever. that's not really the point. such a great fucking song.

KurtTGS (July 10, 2007)

This band defines emo for me too.

The Bessie Smith thing to me isn't pretentious, considering what they were doing in the early 90's was a stark contrast to the whole Pearl Jam and Gun 'N Roses thing. The ambience is nice.

Man I love this band. The "touch the wings of an angel" song for me is what did it.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Not naming their songs is pretty awesome. My favorite song of theirs is " ", although " " is a pretty close contender. Both such great songs.

WainscottRockCity (July 10, 2007)

Live Blue Universe is one of the best live recordings I've ever heard and possibly the defining moment of mid-90s emo. I bought the LP, which is better constructed and contains poetry and a trippy poster.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

actually it is called whatever you want it to be since they didn't officially name their songs, I'll go with "Applesauce McDougal". Sounds about right.

- JD

kissthebottle (July 10, 2007)

The song is not called "Angry Son". It's called "Woolworm".

And, yeah. It's one of the best hardcore songs ever written.

xo

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

"I have the vinyl of this, is there a difference between them? I know the vinyl has some fancy extra artwork inserted and some emo writings as well but the actual recordings?"

"same songs as cd minus the pitzer songs--one unreleased song never before on vinyl"

As fot this itself, stylish packaging, but a little confusing thanks to Indian Summer never naming their songs.

SloaneDaley (July 10, 2007)

I have the vinyl of this, is there a difference between them? I know the vinyl has some fancy extra artwork inserted and some emo writings as well but the actual recordings?

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

that song changed my life.

-greyicewater

SloaneDaley (July 10, 2007)

Angry Son is one of the greatest songs recorded by anyone ever.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

my god i love indian summer. i'm just going to say that. i'll be writing in here forever. and that anyone who hasn't heard them needs to listen. now.

-greyicewater

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

for fuck's sake will this band reissue their discography cd. jessssuss.

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