Wednesday, June 21, 2006

OMG!!! THE NEW FORMAT!!!!! (Cue swooning girls)

The Format
"Dog Problems"
(The Vanity Label)

Every time a band tries ripping off latter-era Beatles, that band should give Julian Lennon a percentage of their sales, not because he's the son of John Lennon, but rather because he was pretty good at ripping off his father's songwriting style. At the very least, the lesser Lennon was able to rip off the Beatles before all these nu-emo bands came into fruition.

With that in mind, Arizona's The Format should give a sizeable chunk of their sales to Julian Lennon. Make no mistake, this is very much The Format, but rather than making generic bland pop, they've taken a pretty ambitious step in their self-financed and self-released sophomore full-length, "Dog Problems."

What plagued The Format's debut was the pretense that they were going to be the next Weezer or Jimmy Eat World; much of that is removed from "Dog Problems." Instead, there are many intellgent and catchy tunes.

"She Doesn't Get It" employs bells and lots of snare (see also: The Dismemberment Plan); "Snails" is a folkish song which could pass off as a Rilo Kiley track, and the record's parting shot "If Work Permits" is a lonely acoustic track that is a stark contrast to album's constant spit-and-polished-pop.

There's no real sophomore slump as The Format has done the (typically) unthinkable and wrote a better second album.

Just don't tell Julian Lennon.


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