Limbeck - Hi, Everything's Great (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Hi, Everything's Great (2003)


Limbeck is best known to me as the Garage Monkeys, the fictional band that was in an early commercial for iMacs a number of years ago. The fictional group was playing a catchy pop song called "She's Online," and I spent ages trying to track down the band's CD, before being told they weren't real.

Well, sort of. That band was actually Limbeck, an indie-pop band from California. I logged the band in the back of my mind until earlier this year, when I saw a copy of the band's last album, "This Chapter Is Called Titles," sitting in my college's radio station. I snagged it, marvelled at the gorgeous packaging, and promptly ejected the CD from my stereo as the band had seemingly turned into run-of-the-mill emo quartet. It wasn't bad, but it surely wasn't what I was looking for.

Then this album showed up in my mailbox the other day, and this time, I've been marvelling at their stunning turnaround in musicianship.

The band has gone through some sort of morph into an alt-country act almost, with twangy guitars, straight-ahead drumming, and bluesy riffs scattered throughout the album's 12 tracks. I hear a lot of the band's former labelmates, the now-defunct Chamberlain, in these songs [ironic that Chamberlain went through an even more drastic musical change between their albums]. The instrumentation is also lush without being overbearing, with banjo licks and slide guitar in all the right places.

The group's lyrics are those of wistfullness and longing, but are sung without being whiny or annoying. These songs tell a story of a band on the road, and it's a fascinating tale that unwinds over the 37 minutes the album runs. The simplicity of the songs [reminiscent of, say, Rhett Miller/Old 97s] makes them all the more lovable.

In short, this album is completely not what I expected from Limbeck, and I couldn't be happier.

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