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Parade are a local band who started off doing female voiced shoegaze a few years back. I really like that kind of stuff, and i quickly became a fan of the band. Well, in the intervening years they have evolved into a nice pop band with intricately constructed songs.

The real gem of this band, aside from the fact that they can write a catchy tune, is the voice of singer Carrie Hodge. She is a small blonde girl with a big voice. She sings in the mid-range, but covers a lot of ground with what she does. I think that, in many ways, Ms. Hodge sounds like what Maria McKee might have sounded like had she not descended into the realm. Really -- hearing Ms. Hodge sing is a treat.

That said, it's not as if Parade are "her" band. The sound on this EP is balanced -- no one element overpowers the other, and no sound is lost in the mix. That's rather an impressive feet of engineering from Eric Friar (also of Heroes Severum), who managed to really capture their sound. So many local discs are poorly recorded, so listening to this is a very pleasant surprise.

Opening song That's Hott starts with a martial drum riff, a staccato guitar wail, and Hodge's voice mixed high and trebly (maybe layered too). This is a classic indie girl rock song, moving along at a great start/stop rhythm with nicely overdriven guitars. Towards the end, Ms. Hodge is really pushing it -- singing loud over the distorted guitar wail, the thundering bass, and the loud drumming. At this point Parade really remind me of early Magnapop.

On Booths the voice is lighter and the guitars are chimier and less distorted. The bass lays down a really great rhythm, and in general this is a nice light song that builds to a cacophonous climax.

Hunting is a classic pop song about, well, stalking. (But aren't all really great pop tunes about stalking someone?) Here Parade adds a few flourishes -- cello, some laptopy sound effects -- over their catchy melody. It's a really pretty song.

The oddly titled Sombrefas is up next. It starts similarly to Hunting, except that in the middle is swells very nicely: the bass thumps, the drums clatter, the guitar strums, and Ms. Hodge really lets loose. It gets good and loud.

Finally Parade wrap up their second EP, and third release overall, with Lunch Lady. This has a slight jazzy feel to it in that the guitar is noodling while the drumming is light and the bass really carries the rhythm. The song meanders along nicely like that for a while, and then towards the end Ms. Hodge plays a simple piano riff while positively belting out the words. Truly a beautiful moment.

Overall, i am impressed. This is a fine EP. Parade continue to grow quite nicely, and i am very curious to see what they do next.

Related Links:

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Parade on EvilSponge:
     Concert: Fri.20.Jan.06
     Festival Performance: The 2006 Other Sound Festival - Day 1
     7": split with Aviator
     Festival Performance: Corndogorama 2007 - Day 1


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