System and Station: A Nation of Actors

With bursting swirls of perfectly fuzzed-out electric guitars, System and Station’s fourth full-length album A Nation of Actors is not subtle when it comes to flaunting their influences. On the album’s opener, “The Magnetic North,” Built to Spill and mid 90’s alt- rock band Dig instantly come to mind. But their recognizable influences fade as quickly as they appear, and System and Station claim their own musical territory. It’s abundantly clear that these guys aren’t looking to be the “next big thing,” which is honestly very refreshing. It’s also apparent that these guys would be a lot of fun to hang out with after their set, and it sounds like that is why they do this in the first place. The band’s main songwriter, Ryan “RFK” Heise, delivers songs that are catchy in the way Pavement songs are catchy; you can’t really sing along on the first few listens, but you feel as though you know every out-of-the-way stop along the route. With Gestalt-esque arrangements and vocal layering, the sum of these songs truly are greater than their individual parts which, at the end of the day, is what rock is really all about. (Latest Flame 2008)

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