System And Station - A Nation Of Actors
“A Nation of Actors” is the fourth full-length album by SYSTEM AND STATION. The August 2008 release is poppier than its predecessor, “Here is Now.” It has a guitar heavy and rhythmically progressive sound that forms the foundation for gentle and sometimes plaintive melodies and lyrics.
“The earlier System and Station stuff is pretty ‘prog rock’ with a lot of changes and six or seven minute songs,” said RFK Heise, principle songwriter in the band. “On this record we really tried to focus in on cutting out the unnecessary and get to the heart of the songs. I think doing that it really defined an identity for what we have been trying to do for a lot of years now.”
The music isn’t especially hooky, but I found myself drawn to the overall sound quality of the record. So perhaps “cerebral” is a good descriptor, although that suggests mellow music, which this isn’t. The song structures, instrumentation, and dynamics are reminiscent of early JANE’S ADDICTION, an influence in Heise’s songwriting.
“‘Ritual [de lo Habitual]’-era JANE’S ADDICTION definitely…and I’m a big classic rock fan,” Heise said. “Everything from LED ZEPPELIN, BUILT TO SPILL, and THE POLICE. I am super into YES. The idea before was to write epic rock songs, but it started to get to be too much. So now we are trying to be a little more accessible.”
SYSTEM AND STATION formed in Boise, ID in 1998 and have called both Madison, WI (1998-2001) and Portland, OR home since (they currently reside in the latter city). SYSTEM AND STATION has performed with the likes of MARKY RAMONE, SHINER, BUILT TO SPILL, BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB, and THE MEAT PUPPETS. They completed their 19th national tour in September.
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