Cityview on Facebook Cityview on Twitter Cityview on MySpace Cityview on flickr Follow Me on Pinterest  
Des Moines Cityview

Sponsored Ad

Sound Check

Feb 2, 2012
Follow Me on Pinterest

By Chad Taylor

The Well Pennies

‘The Well Pennies [EP]’



How cynical are you? The answer to that question will go a long way to determining how you view The Well Pennies. You’ll either see them as a refreshing folk/pop blend, or Mumford and Sons crossed with a Target commercial; as a talented duo who create music that’s light, upbeat and joyous, or as a couple of inoffensive-but-bland retreads who have produced a ready-made Starbucks soundtrack. Either way, it’s hard to argue with where their hearts are: Bryan Vanderpool and his wife, Des Moines native Sarah, wear their love of this project on their sleeve, and it’s apparent in everything from the lyrics, to the melodies, to the instrumentation. The result is an EP that’s sound is clean, unencumbered and easy to listen to. Or sterile, safe and the musical equivalent of a Stepford Wife. So, how cynical are you? CV

Of Montreal

‘Paralytic Stalks’



You can like Of Montreal if you want to, but they’re not going to make it easy. Wildly creative, extremely talented and more willing to experiment with their sound than maybe any band outside of the Flaming Lips, Of Montreal always tempers that musical goodness by coating it in a thin veneer of pretention. It doesn’t ever feel like they release an album, so much as tolerate fans looking over the band’s shoulder at what they’ve created. Paralytic Stalks is wonderful. It’s poppy, trippy and sports a lush, dynamic and wide-ranging sound. But it’s also saddled with song titles like “We Will Commit Wolf Murder” and lyrics like “into some ancient reptilian form like an agnostic transubstantiation/Don’t know what that is (use your imagination).” I’ve never wanted to punch a band this good in the face so hard in my life. CV

Want your new CD reviewed? Email us a link at or mail a physical copy to: Cityview, 414 61st Street, Des Moines, IA 50312.

Special Sections


Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc. • 414 61st Street • Des Moines, Iowa 50312 • 515-953-4822 • 515.953.1394 (fax)
©2012 Copyright Big Green Umbrella Media

Sponsored by
Sponsored Ad