The Envy Corps - Dwell

It is not with anger or contempt that we should react to the fact that their first album of songs has not turned out 'different enough' from the current media darling bands.

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Released 29 Apr 2008 | Mercury | By Jon Parry | Rating: 3
The Envy Corps - Dwell

'Dwell' is atmospheric-meets-pop indie from Iowa, and has, to some justification, been compared to Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, Radiohead, Coldplay, U2 and Doves among others. For one, the singles, including 'Wires & Wool' and 'Rhinemaidens' are singalong, stadium-sized stompers. Two, you can hear Thom Yorke, Chris Martin and Ben Gibbard in Pettipoole's voice. And his vocal melodies in 'Walls' and 'Baby Teeth' have an early Coldplay feel, dressed by only a stark synth in 'Walls'' extended verses. Furthermore Brandon Darner's main hook in 'Sylvia' and 'Party Dress' recalls The Edge's signature guitar sound. And 'Rooftop' is somewhat reminiscent of The Bends era Radiohead. Only 'Before The Gold Rush' flirts with non-indie idioms - folk and country - yet at heart, like the rest of the album, it is a wholly sincere, heart-on-sleave emotive indie ballad.

For us to find a place for this unassuming quartet to stand beside these indie giants would necessitate them having a niche approach, sound and style, and it is here that the usefulness of the comparisons breakdown. The Envy Corps explain that "we don't have a thing that we do, other than play really good music" - they are not trying to consciously carve a niche look or sound. Rather their approach is honest, letting the songs dictate how to play and arrange them. So it is at least not with anger or contempt that we should react to the fact that their first album of songs has not turned out 'different enough' from a lot of current media darling bands.