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Billy Music – Midwest Index

The album cover graphics told me I was in for another glitch, trip-hop, house treat of the Moon Records variety. Imagine my surprise when I instead discovered Billy Music is actually watered-down emo/contemporary pop rock from South Dakota. South Dakota? For some reason, that just sounds so much more punk rock than, say Austin.


No, you won’t find too many top-notch acts tumbling out of the Black Hills, but with Midwest Index, the boys of Billy Music are making a strong case for recognition. Granted, at times you’ll hear everything you ever hated about every college band you watched on the weekends. But scratch the surface a bit and you’ll hear some extreme promise.

“Stereofoam” and “Tour Song” take you places that both Lit and Jimmy Eat World have gone, while ambient tunes “If It Rained All Day” and “Elude” prove the band isn’t afraid to deviate from rock’s three-minute format. At the risk of offending, Midwest Index is quite bi-polar from song to song. Yet, whether grinding through distorted guitar riffs and punk harmonies or wading through almost-transcendental, acoustic waters, Billy Music somehow offers a wonderfully focused sound.

Some of the songs on the disc come off a little mainstream and safe. But if you fight the urge to pressure Billy Music with accusations of pretension and keep Midwest Index in proper perspective, you’ll walk away fairly satisfied with the album.


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