The 1900s: Return of the Century (Review)

The 1900s
Return of the Century
Parasol

On Cold and Kind, their 2007 debut, the 1900s explored the plight of those left behind after the Rapture. Return of the Century, the band’s latest Parasol LP (out this week), is similarly imaginative in its choice of setting. The songs are populated by characters from an underground world where “people’s minds are held in thrall in the name of spiritual advancement.”

If all of this sounds a little too highfalutin in sketch form, or if concept albums in general leave you cold, fear not. The story is a loose framework for a collection of compelling songs. The band has pared down a bit to a sextet, and Return of the Century’s arrangements are correspondingly tauter, leaning more towards folk/pop rather than the orchestral ambitions of some of 1900s previous endeavors. There are moments when the rock guitars come to the fore, as on “Zerkalo’s” incendiary solos and the psych-tinged breaks found on “Babies.”

“Babies”

But mostly we’re treated to vocals front and center, and when the harmonizing is felicitous, as it is on “Bmore” and “Amulet,” folk-inflected melodies craft a beguiling ambience.

The 1900s – Amulet from The 1900s / M/\ZES on Vimeo.

Tour Dates:

Fri. Nov. 5 - Chicago, IL @ Reckless Records (Wicker Park in-store – 5:30 PM)

Tue. Nov. 9 - Cincinnati, OH @ The Comet

Wed. Nov. 10 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox

Thu. Nov. 11 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (early show – 6:30 PM)

Fri. Nov. 12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s w/ Buried Beds, Tunng

Sat. Nov. 13 - Brooklyn, NY @ The Rock Shop

Sun. Nov. 14 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East (upstairs)

Fri. Dec. 3 - Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle

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