steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

A. Rex

"Moving Backwards" CD


Genre: indie pop

June 2008

Centred around a 21 year-old math major named Andrew Espinola, A. Rex is a lush indie pop band whose rotating cast of musicians all share the same first name. A cute gimmick for sure, but not the only notable aspect about these Eels-esque popsters, who carve immediately memorable ditties out of guitar, piano, and Espinola's Perishers-style breathy vocals. Though a tad on the inoffensive side, Moving Backwards' lovely songs are a perfect fit for sensitive music lovers who aren't too stuck up to get down n' dirty with some gentle ballads. This album seems to share a niche with The Perishers' Let There Be Morning, though I sense a more Eels-y flair. This stuff shows up a lot on TV shows and the like these days, so I wouldn't be surprised if wide-eyed "Moving Backwards" or calming and parental "Old Enough" ended up on the closing credits of the latest WB show. Though the middle two are definitely the best songs on here, also enjoyable are "So Hard" and its lulling guitar strums, as well as pick-me-up "Lower Than Low". Some tracks tend to drag a bit, barreling on without a melody worth barreling on for (Sparklehorse-esque "Hold My Hand", "Still Can't Accept That You're Gone"), but for the most part this is enjoyable, marketable pop music suited for post-breakup stabilizing and bedroom self-reflection.


Fun Fact: Espinola about the band's formation: "The weirdest part of our band is how it came together. For some reason only Andrews responded to my ads for musicians. So, we ended up with a band full of Andrews." (from press sheet)

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2007]