REVIEW: POINT JUNCTURE, WA – HANDSOME ORDERS (2011)
There are many reasons why I’m in love with Portland, OR. One of them is Point Juncture, WA. This band of four bought a house they all live in, they grow a lot of their own food and they took an old barn on their property and have transformed it into a recording studio. Do you want to friends with them? I do. It was in the newly transformed recording studio where they conceived their newest album, Handsome Orders.
Handsome Orders (Mt. Fuji records) is the third full length album for this DIY band. And don’t think they are all about themselves. Oh no, this band has recorded albums for other Pacific Northwestern favorites; Horse Feathers, Blind Pilot, Talkdemonic and Thao + The Get Down Stay Down to name a few. Their previous albums included many layering of synthesizers with guitar to create an indie/rock album. On Handsome Orders the band has a straight forward approach. Keeping their layering format, it now included horns and beautiful keyboards.
The album starts out with the dreamy, “When You Wake Up It’s Today”, with horns beautifully mastered in the background, like the unnamed vocalist. The song is almost too perfect while enjoying your morning tea. Followed by “Chronological Order” a more upbeat piece, setting you up for “Violin Case”, the first rock song on the album that makes you want to get up and jump around.
“Snakey Says” brings the album back down a notch. With its dreamy, laid back attitude this is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Amanda Spring’s vocals surely must be what it is like to bike through a field of daisies on a sunny summer day. Is it because of the time it takes to wait/ Memories don’t appreciate/ I spend it walking in a twisted figure 8/ The past and further separate the lyrics have a forlorn sense to them, but this is no pity song. WIth the drums, guitar and background vocals this is an uplifting forward song that makes the listener feel clean of all past. WIth Spring’s advice, Concentrate on feeling the breeze/ Keep your heart in your chest and off your sleeve this song is sure to give anyone a sense of newfound hope.
Handsome Orders ebbs and flows in a most beautiful way. From the first track aptly titled, “When You Wake Up It’s Today” to ease you into the album, to the end rock track, “Boston Gold” this album is a must have for summer. Between the boy/ girl back and forth the tracks guide you into a multitude of senses. The Pacific northwest musical influence are best showcased in “Boston Gold”. With its layering rock guitar sounds, strong drums gives a good sense of the energy the band has. Amanda Spring (vocal/drums), Victor Nash (keyboards/vocals), Skyler Norwood (guitar/vibraphone) and Wilson Vednier (guitar) have something to be proud of, in this third album of theirs.