Vernacular/Greyslate - 2003 - 45 minutes

They might not have meant it, but the title is a smart way to stop hacks from listing off all The Coldspoon Conspiracy's influences.

There are plenty - from all points north of Florida and south of Montreal - but this album deserves its own little space and time in the post rock universe, showcasing as it does a softness that eludes many and a reluctance to get completely shackled to stop-start dynamics.

It's a case of money brilliantly spent on engineer Rob Bochnik, a man who has looked up from the controls at the likes of Steve Albini, Kim Deal and Bill Calahan and here crafts a beautifully intimate sound on a three-day turnaround. The gentle vocals of Pat Cannon and clean guitar lines are what really stick and say that regrets not riffs should be the Conspiracy's plot for the future.

In the meantime, they've sold themselves a little short with the title - it should be 'Plays Better Than Most'.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Best Not Argue - Like a Record - Ghostwritten - Really Bad Drunk - Frail & Interesting - You Cannot Get Into a Description of a Car and Drive Away - Conversation Starter - The Make-Up - ...As an Afterthought - So Much So - How Many t's in Bloodletting? - Goodbye, or Something