Pure Genius At Work
Honestly, 1997's "...A Better View of the Rising Moon" (taken from the haiku "since my house burned down I now own a better view of the rising moon") probably isn't going to appeal to most listeners of hard rock or heavy metal, and it's a reach to categorise it as some sub-category of punk. It's catchy and appealing sound gives it a unique, pop rock element. They may be another product of Chicago's overflowing emo scene, but they're hardly interchangeable with the rest of acts out there. If music with female vocals has never really appealed to you, listen to this album and you are guaranteed to change your mind.
Like most artists, 1997 talk about life experiences including love, happiness and heartache. However, by having both male and female vocals on the tracks, you are not just getting someone complaining about a relationship, it seem you are getting both sides of a relationship. Instead of simply imitating their influences, they use them to organically craft their own distinct indie rock melodies and sincere lyrics that come to life with bits of ukulele, piano, banjo, tambourine, harmonica and even Cello. 1997 has found their individual path and forge ahead without screaming or cursing or songs without substance. With lyrics like, "If I can't hold you, I'm gonna fold you like a note and keep you with me" as found in the song "Tennessee Song," your feet will tap, your head will bop and your heart will melt. The alternating dynamic of churning guitars that drive 'Water's Edge' is a nice change of pace from the whole screaming act many bands insist on having in their tracks. On 'Garden of Evil' 1997 show just how amazing their voices sound when everyone's voices are blended together. Many of the songs have instrumentals during them, which fit in nicely to the tune and lyrics of the songs. Watch out for 'Curse or Cure'; it's very different to the other songs on the album, and even though it may be one of the shortest tracks, it is one of the best.
It is very hard to believe 1997 has yet to be together even two whole years. Without even realising it at the start, you'll want to listen to it again and again. It is impressive how memorable this album can be as a debut. This album is emotional, incredibly well-written and contains an extremely well-sung compilation of folk type emo tunes that may not have you bashing your head and screaming, but defiantly will have you humming tunes and nodding away to the beats, as you fall into the irresistible world that is...1997.