Sardina's Presents to come bursting out of the starting gate today, donning a Merge or Sub Pop logo on the back sleeve, the indie cognoscenti would be revering them just as much as the Arcade Fire and Iron and Wine. Spearheaded by one Michelle Marchesseault with three capable gents in tow (all of whom pitch in with the songwriting), this unheralded Indianapolis quartet eschewed any of the requisite "chick-rock" connotations of their era, which is an accomplishment unto itself. In fact, Presents doesn't feel indigenous to the '90s in virtually any capacity, bearing a fresh, almost surreal sonic tapestry at times. The commencing "Ding Dong, the Liberty Horse" melds sing-songy verses with bendy, tremolo inflected guitar lines, infusing it's stunning three minutes with an addictive sway. On the same "pop" continuum, "Liberty Horse" is quickly followed up by the equally winsome "I'll Be Around," and elsewhere on Presents first half, Sardina tinker with Pixies-esque juxtapositions on "Cockadoodledoo" and "Pickled Frogs" to mixed effect. Marchesseault exudes her inner torchbearer on the strikingly lucid "Hey," proclaiming, "I'm all about your trouble, I'm all about your pain," with melodic, wrenching conviction. Following suit are a bevy of chilled-out numbers that occasionally suggest what Edie Brickell might have accomplished had she taken the alt-rock bull by the horns after that annoying one-hit-wonder of hers faded away. My words really don't do this disk justice, so you know what to do next. For a bit more text, which btw mentions the 2008 passing of drummer Lonpaul Ellrich, check out this piece from Balkans via Bohemia.
Sardina's biographical details are best outlined on their Indiana Music Archive site, and even more rewarding (that is if you take to this album), a robust selection of live shows and unreleased studio tracks can be enjoyed here.
01. Ding Dong, the Liberty Horse
02. I'll Be Around
03. Pickled Frogs
04. He's on Drugs Again
06. The Formula
08. Travel and Tourism
09. Big Man
11. Wagon Wheel
12. Messy Moe
It has been requested that I remove the link. Sorry.
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