Exposé Online banner

Halloween, Alaska — Too Tall to Hide
(East Side Digital ESD-81772, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Too Tall to Hide Cover art

It hasn’t been that long since this Minneapolis band put out their debut (reviewed in #32), and here they come with the follow-up less than a year later. Far from merely avoiding the dreaded Sophomore Slump, they have built on the dreamy atmospheric pop of the previous effort, infusing the lush textures and beautiful melodies with a welcome dose of energy and urgency. They are now squarely in the territory of such melodic, intelligent independent bands as Death Cab for Cutie – not a bad place to be, considering Death Cab’s recent surge in popularity. Once again, keyboards provide the main backing for the vocals, but there are some marvelous unexpected touches, like the sudden wall of chaotic guitar distortion that appears midway through “You and Me Both,” keeping the song from wallowing in its own beauty, and providing a break from the meticulous arrangements. And there’s a chunk of muscular fuzz bass in “Receiving Line” I enjoy a lot. Every song is a winner, with a good variety of tempos and moods, though they stay shy of out-and-out rocking. The lyrics often provide great turns of phrase, like “Unrequited love has fifteen rows of teeth and sneaks up from beneath and pulls him under…” which comes after one of the odd ambient interludes in “Forever.” Once again, ESD has packed the CD with bonus MP3 files and other materials.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Halloween, Alaska

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pollen - Pollen – The Canadian symphonic progressive scene is one that unfortunately has avoided CD reissue except for the occasional release such as Harmonium, Spirit of Christmas, and the much harder to find Opus 5....  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues