Maritime Glass Floor

Well it had to happen sooner or later. I think we all knew there would come a day when the Promise Ring’s Dave von Bohlen was going to mysteriously transform into the new Neil Sedaka or Billy Joel or something else approximating a modern version of a ’70s FM radio crooner. Given the sharp change in direction, PR took with its underappreciated swan song effort, Wood/Water, it was inevitable. Less introspective and moody than that record, Maritime’s debut is an upbeat, jangly guitar pop record that fits somewhere between the Promise Ring and Sloan’s retro pop musings. Teaming with PR drummer Dan Didier and former Dismemberment Plan bassist/keyboardist Eric Axelson, this band’s debut is just as likely to be dismissed as ultra-wimpy pap as it is hailed for its layered horn and piano work. And frankly, both assessments would be correct. It’s too earnest by half to be considered a fun pop record and too orchestral to be confused with an indie rock disc. There are some great moments, some of the complex horn arrangements and clever lyrics are particularly rewarding. But the moments are few and far between. A shame really, given the talent and potential of this collective. (DeSoto)