Real Estate

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Real Estate (2009) , 6/10
Days (2011) , 5.5/10
Atlas (2014), 5/10
In Mind (2017), 4/10

New Jersey's Real Estate, fronted by Titus Andronicus' vocalist/guitarist Martin Courtney and guitarist Matt Mondanile, debuted with singles ((i>Beach Comber) and EPs in the vein of the "chillwave". They revived the mellow West Coast folk-rock of the 1970s on Real Estate (Woodsist, 2009), that compiled most of the early material. The country-ish Beach Comber is lively by comparison with what comes next: the lounge-oriented funk-soul of Pool Swimmers, the languid singalong Snow Days, and especially the waltzing Black Lake. Courtney is creative enough to pepper his lullabies with all sorts of effects, from the slightly dissonant Suburban Dogs to the limping Fake Blues. The band is remarkably relaxed in the instrumental jamming of Let's Rock The Beach, almost an antidote to their noisy contemporaries. The catchiest number, Green River, sounds like a traditional folk tune. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Suburban Beverage is the most unnerving song thanks to a hypnotic quasi-raga guitar pattern and to a trancey whispered refrain; one of the best chillwave compositions.

Days (Domino, 2011) was more of the same, except that it featured the thing that was missing from the debut album: the popular single, in this case It's Real. The rest aped the debut, with elegant nonchalance in Wonder Years and a bit of daring rebellion in All The Same and its guitar jam. The sparkling production certainly enhanced the lulling, reassuring quality of their sunny pop.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Giulio Bassanello)

Il gruppo del New Jersey Real Estate, capeggiato dal cantante/chitarrista dei Titus Andronicus Martin Courtney e dal chitarrista Matt Monfanile, ha debuttato con singoli (come Beach Comber) ed EP nello spirito della cosiddetta “chillwave”. Essi hanno poi rivissuto il folk-rock melenso della West Coast degli anni ’70 con Real Estate (Woodsist, 2009), che includeva molto del materiale già esistente. La prima traccia un po’ country, Beach Comber, è travolgente se paragonata a ciò che la segue: il funk-soul tendente al lounge di Pool Swimmers, il languido sing-along di Snow Days e specialmente il valzer di Black Lake.  Courtney è abbastanza creativo da mettere sale alle sue ninnenanne con ogni tipo di artifici, dalla leggermente dissonante Suburban Dogs alla zoppicante Fake Blues. La band è incredibilmente a suo agio nella jam strumentale di Let’s Rock The Beach, quasi un antidoto contro i loro rumorosi contemporanei. Il numero più orecchiabile, Green River, sembra un motivo folk tradizionale. Dalla parte opposta, Suburban Beverage è la canzone più snervante grazie a un motivo di chitarra ipnotico e vicino al raga-rock, e a un ritornello sussurrato ossessivo.


Days (Domino, 2011) è in sostanza lo stesso tipo di album, se non perché contiene ciò che mancava al precedente: il singolo che uccide, in questo caso It’s Real. Il resto fa il verso all’album di debutto, con elegante nonchalance in Wonder Years e un pizzico di audace ribellione in All The Same e nella sua jam di chitarra.

Alex Bleeker And The Freaks (Underwater Peoples, 2010), a Real Estate side-project, offered more conventional roots-rock.

Matthew Mondanile left the band to focus on his own project Ducktails.

Atlas (2014), featuring keyboardist Matt Kallman, delivered the jangling Byrds-ian folk-rock of Talking Backward and of Had to Hear, but their typical lethargic litanies tended to be more superficial and monotonous than ever. After hearing pretty much the same melody and the same ringing guitar so many times the samba steps of The Bend feel revolutionary. The feeling is even more laid-back than usual. The real highlight is the instrumental April's Song, which could be the ultimate summer/beach theme of the era.

Real Estate's utterly mediocre In Mind (Domino, 2017), with new guitarist Julian Lynch replacing Mondanile, contains the singles Darling and Stained Glass.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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