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Editor’s Pick #154: The Format’s “Dead End” by JohnCassillo
August 6, 2009, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , , ,
The Format's "Dead End" still strikes the right chord

The Format's "Dead End" still strikes the right chord

PREVIEW: Download The Format’s “Dog Problems” MP3

Nate Ruess has a new project these days — fun. — and later this month they’ll release what promises to be a great new album. You might recognize Ruess from another great indie pop act, The Format.

I, like many others, miss The Format deeply. A jangle pop outfit primarily made up of Sam Means and Nate Ruess, The Format were  a staple of my musical taste for years, and when they broke up in February of 2008, it practically crushed me. The fact is that they made some really entertaining and original pop music during their existence, that meant a lot to me when it came out, which was only amplified by the group’s breakup. Nowhere is this better exemplified than 2006’s Dog Problems.

Bouncy brass melodies, vaudeville-esque piano parts and goofy gang vocals litter the album, providing an intimate and personal experience that has rarely been touched upon. Each track has a character and personality you could become acquainted with, and relate to. My favorite of these is still “Dead End.”

The driving piano and surf rock guitar chords play off Ruess’ desperation perfectly, giving the listener an anthem for a lonely, clamoring heart. The majority of the album, written about Ruess’ recent long-term disaster of a relationship, plays off similar themes throughout. The title actually refers to how the former couple would buy a dog each time they had a huge falling out, to try and resolve their problems. The result: his being stuck with a bunch of dogs and no relationship. Sad, but clever.

— John Cassillo, Reviews Editor



fun’s album sucks. i heard it — you should review it so everyone knows not to buy it.

Comment by peter

…And you’re the first person that I’ve heard say it sucks. I actually enjoy it, to be honest. Though not as good as The Format, I think it has a lot of great moments, and some great energy too. Seems to put some closure on The Format breaking up, etc.

Comment by johncassillo

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