Connections - Into Sixes [Anyway; 2014]
Time to answer an age old question: is too much of something bad for you? What if that too much is a band churning out good albums?
Ohioans Connections order up album #3 with Into Sixes and though the energy of the previous two is still well intact, one wonders just HOW good…wait, this is Agitated Atmosphere so this can’t be a negative review.
And it’s not. But much like oft-referenced Guided by Voices in regards to Connections, Into Sixes does suffer from overexposure (even if the band continues to be slightly unexposed). But what Into Sixes does do is start the slight reinvention of Connections. When thinking of modern bands cranking out content in a similar mold (The Men, Dr. Dog, Ryan Adams, and yes GBV), they fail to offer up a glimpse of what lies ahead. In the case of Connections, there’s plenty borrowed from Private Airplane and Body Language that is still strong (catchy hooks, upbeat tempos, throwback guitar solos) as the band grows tighter with each release.
Yet their proficiency doesn’t discourage deviant behaviors. “Beat the Sky” is a meatier rock anthem, ditching some of the edgier garage licks for a clearer vision of growth. “Calm Down” borrows from the Segall/Vile playbook without the California weariness. “Angie” is the best indication of Connections ability to combine many rock influences into a cohesive and singular idea of what’s to come.
So what’s with the wealth of releases? Is it too much of a good thing? Likely, but the truth is Connections are running through their initial incarnation before they morph into something bigger and better. All these solid albums out of the gate aren’t indicative of fetishism for a particular sound but merely a means to expand it from where history last left it. When it’s all said and done (and that could sadly be tomorrow for all we know), these first two years of Connections releases may well be seen as not enough of the good but considering the rising tide of the band that’s unlikely. So feast like a snake for now.