Aloha - Boys In The Bathtub (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Boys In The Bathtub (2004)


After yet another lineup change, the vibraphone-rock quartet known as Aloha returns to the scene with seven minutes of new music, divided equally between two new songs - "Boys In The Bathtub" and "You've Escaped" [seriously, both songs are exactly three-and-a-half minutes long]. The biggest change between this and their past efforts? No more vibraphone. Vibes player Eric has left the band due to being a father. Stepping in his place is TJ Lipple, who gives a burst of creativity into the band.

Once again showing their reluctance to stay put with one style for too long, this 7" has them evolving from their Dismemberment Plan-esque sophomore record Sugar into a fresh pop sound evident on the A-side. The song's stuttered beat combined with Tony's new take on his vocals - think the softer moments of more recent Promise Ring material - display a pop sensibility the band had previously neglected. The guitar solo thrown into the middle of the track is something that wouldn't be out of place on a new Wilco or Elvis Costello record, either. Lipple's mellotron works well in this song, and you almost forget that the band used to have vibes.

"You've Escaped" allows the band to have some fun, with drummer Cale switching with TJ for piano duty, allowing Lipple to showcase is solid drumming chops as well. This song is more prototypical of Sugar-era Aloha, with a fast verse coupled with a drum breakdown for the chorus. The song unravels at the end to just the drumbeat as the record fades out, almost primally. This is just a great, great song.

Aloha was a band that wasn't neccessarily in need of a rebirth, but got one anyway. Lucky for them, it didn't hinder their creativity at all, and it only gets me excited for more new material from this new lineup.