All of Your Tomorrows Were Decided Todayby Che Arthur
Che Arthur is the non-singing lead guitarist of Chicago post-rockers Atombombpocketknife, making his almost entirely solo (everything but the drums, that is) debut with 2004's All of Your Tomorrows Were Decided Today. Where his day gig is much more into lengthy explorations of different instrumental textures, time signatures and loud/soft dynamics, Arthur is a far more straightforward singer/songwriter on his own, essaying ten brief, catchy pop songs in just barely half-an-hour. Comparisons to Foo Fighters aren't wide of the mark -- the jangle-fuzz indie rock of the opening "Sunrise Motel" will be as surprising to Atombombpocketknife fans as Dave Grohl's initial ventures into the driver's seat were to Nirvana fans -- but for the most part, All of Your Tomorrows Were Decided Today has more in common with the post-Hüsker Dü work of that band's co-founders, Bob Mould and Grant Hart. (For one thing, Arthur's reedy singing voice at times bears a startling resemblance to Hart's.) As on those musicians' solo records and short-lived band projects (Sugar and Nova Mob respectively), Arthur is a clearly talented singer/songwriter occasionally capable of greatness, most notably on the searing "Valley of Fire" and the astonishingly Hüsker Dü-like "Farewell." However, the low-key, homemade quality of the album doesn't show Arthur's talents to their fullest extent; Adam Reach's shuffling drums on the pleasantly catchy instrumental "Heresies" shows that Arthur is at his best when collaborating with other musicians, which would open up these occasionally too-polite songs a bit more and add some more sparks to a good, but not great, solo debut.
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