red lights


Ethereal indie-rock floats,
but fails to soar

The Onlys - Limbic System
(Detach Records)
2 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Sept. 20, 2005
The Onlys

Review by Tony Bonyata

Hailing from the new-music capitol of Austin, TX indie-rockers The Onlys have just released their third full-length debut entitled Limbic System. On it the trio, consisting of Rachel Romo and brother Jason and Joel Chenoweth, have created a sweeping, atmospheric effort that is, at times, hypnotic and engaging, while at others also a bit lethargic and self-absorbed.
The breathy, ethereal whine that floats over the sleepy rhythm on the opening track "Walk Through Walls," sets the tone for this sixteen-track collection of shoe-gazing, indie-rock for closet-goths. Further explorations into the stratosphere, such as "Frequencies in the Dial," featuring a haunting reverb guitar behind Romo's sensual voice, as well as the eerie instrumental balladry of "Turn" and the weariness of "Ah Happiness" add a sense of otherworldliness to the record.
The collection is not without an energy source, however, as witnessed on the punchier numbers "Attica" and the heavily distorted beauty of the instrumental "Swan," which is more than reminiscent of the early psychedelic Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins. The band further injects the shimmering, hypnotic guitar tones of The Cure along with a little Eno-esque knob-twiddling into "Sinking Stones."
While a rather pleasant offering, The Only's main drawback is their one-dimensionality. Maybe if they're able to stimulate and broaden their own limbic systems (the part of the brain which is thought to control emotions and behavior) then their next effort will be even more memorable.

The Onlys will be performing at the King Club in Madison, WI on October 6th.

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