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Early Day Miners: All Harm Ends Here

Early Day Miners: All Harm Ends Here

Label:Secretly Canadian
Genre:Indie Rock

By Mark Sanders | Posted 3/16/2005

Bloomington, Ind.’s Early Day Miners are intrigued, if not obsessed, by indie rock’s darker hues. Evocative of sad memories of unrecoverable things—the cat your neighbor ran over when you were in grade school—they nevertheless succeed at drama without melodrama. Nowhere is this more apparent than on All Harm Ends Here, an album that follows the 9-year-old band’s already established pattern of layering guitar seas with singer/frontman Dan Burton’s rich, dark vocal harmonies. All Harm is reminiscent of an indie-rock bygone era—the early/mid-’90s, when bands such as Slint and Codeine were ignored by virtually everyone outside of their tiny yet devoted fan bases. And like those seminal groups, Early Day Miners prefer a slow-and-steady approach, building songs from one sustained chord or repetitive beat. Burton’s lyrics carry an attitude of indifference and self-importance, highlighted by little gems of insight that suit the album’s somberness perfectly. Snippets of pre-chorus countermelodies sound as if they came from inspired notes jotted down on the way to pick up a Thorazine prescription. Drums trot along obediently, remaining as modest as the wall of guitars that adorn each track. At worst, All Harm Ends Here suffers from a lack of color. But at its brightest moments, it is a textbook example of how an understated album can be thoroughly captivating as well.

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