After a three month hiatus, Ryan Horky is back with another Rant. This time it’s Small Brown Bike‘s newest album (after a lengthy hiatus) in Fell and Found. Catch Small Brown Bike with The Casket Lottery and Lansing’s Cheap Girls at The Subterranean (buy tixs here) in Chicago, IL this Saturday.

Small Brown Bike

Fell and Found

(No Idea)

Rating: 7.5

Some of the absolute best shows I’ve ever seen have been Small Brown Bike shows. I’ve probably seen them more times than any other band living or dead, more due to geography (I live where they live) than raging fandom. (Although I do own all of their releases and have piles of demos, and if that ain’t raging fandom, what is?) So it with a heaping hunk of trepidation that I approach this new LP. After years of disappointment, Ive come to embrace the maxim that REUNION RECORDS SUCK. Sure, there are always exceptions. In the end though, most bands should probably stay broken up. After seeing the too slow, no-energy show that SBB played at Mac’s Bar last winter I figured they might be edging into this category as well. It’s always a bummer when a once-great band makes the slow slide into mediocrity and/or general suckiness. The two 7”s they released prior to Fell and Found didn’t do much for me either. (They weren’t bad, necessarily, but not the high quality I’ve come to expect from the Bike.) But hold on a minute—this record ain’t so bad! Folks that hated The River Bed or expected a return to Our Own Wars/Dead Reckoning aren’t going to dig it, but those of us who enjoyed seeing the band progress and change will find a lot to enjoy on Fell and Found. The sounds on the record are a little like the band themselves these days—a little more relaxed, not as much tension, but still pretty solid and enjoyable. If you’re a fan of the Bike you should pick it up. I probably won’t reach for Fell and Found in the future when I need an SBB fix, but it’s a generally enjoyable record with some decent tunes. I know this seems like I’m damning it with faint praise, but I really expected to hate this. Remember-reunion records suck. In my book, being just generally solid is a victory here.