The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday March 21st

The Sames Come Too Close to Teen Flick Soundtrack

But the band deserves more than top-40 radio play and a music video featuring Freddie Prinze Jr. movie clips.

Unfortunately, The Sames also could be compared to many other bands, as their name might insinuate. The band's "unconventional" experimentation with sound is generally nothing new to the music scene.

But while The Sames might seem similar to other indie musicians, their mixing of random sounds is fronted by sometimes raspy yet always enjoyable harmonies.

In addition to its tight vocals, The Sames EP showcases the band's range, with each track forging a new path. Listening to the first and last track is like hearing two different bands, excluding the raspy harmonies that link them.

The first track, "An Excuse We Give," places silky vocals over a steady drum beat and crunchy guitar, making for a textured and multifaceted song. "An Excuse We Give" segues into "I Wish That You'd Written This Song." It's hard to sit back and enjoy the latter as you become mentally torn between paying attention to the lyrics or music, with the challenge to do both.

The songs flow into the final, "Plight Of The Bumblebee," which has a much slower tempo. With a lulling quality, the track lulls the listener into a calm trance and also boasts fun lyrics -- "I sat in the tree with a bumblebee/I buzzed at her/She smiled at me." The once-peaceful song then crashes into a wave of guitar solos amid distortion, rocking out of the trance.

"Plight of the Bumblebee" is the longest song on the EP by about five minutes, most of which is distorted guitar playing that becomes a tad headache-inducing -- a 180-degree turn from the beginning of the track. The raucous noise doesn't seem necessary and is ill-fitting to the earlier tranquility.

It is strange for "Bumblebee" to play on with no benefit to the song while other songs seem to end in their prime. The medleys of imaginative lyrics, random sounds and the raw talent of the musicians could have gone on longer. "An Excuse We Give" is too short, and "Live My Life for Me" is barely over three minutes. If length should have been anywhere, it should have been put into the first four tracks.

A secret song pops up after "Bumblebee." It, like its predecessor's useless extended length, could use some work. The instrumental song boasts acoustic guitar, maracas and synthesized sounds buried under creepy radio fuzz -- a woman repeating "Everybody calls them by their first names, Jamie and David" and what sounds like the wedding march.

Some extension of the songs would make them all the better since the EP leaves you craving just a bit more, but The Sames EP does manage to exhibit the band's talents and entertaining style.

With a promising CD and a great amount of creative potential, one can only hope The Sames' music doesn't fade in as Freddie Prinze Jr. drives down suburban streets and pines for his girlfriend.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at

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