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The best kept secret in music



CD review by Vinnie Baggadonuts

We Also Create False Promises introduces itself to you with "What You Are In The Dark", which sounds a lot like The Flaming Lips without Wayne Coyne whining about acid and technology. But they waste no time in throwing you for a curve.

Three songs later, "Passionate Gun Love" lays you down for some piano-bottomed foreplay, leading into a guitar-crashing climax. And like a long-dead ghost band found on a dusty field recording, "Flag Is Out" simultaneously spooks you out and makes you smile.

It’s an album of strictly instrumental rock that I typically loathe. But I can’t loathe Character. We Also Create False Promises is a bundle of songs ready for you to make movies to, or just plain get lost in.

- Tastes Like Chicken -

"Character We Also Create False Promises"

We figure most times, instrumental music is best served as a soundtrack to patchouli-wearing crunchies cleaning their loft on a dreary Sunday afternoon -- but Character's songs have a texture and structure that almost make you forget they've got no front man. Almost. Prop a Courtney Taylor in front of these guys, and they could be the next Interpol or Autolux -- as a band, they're that tight -- but w/out the vocals... -

"Character is no words, all play"

By Kristin Smith
October 31, 2004

Nashville seems to be the place for side projects. It makes sense considering the amount of musicians freely wandering around the city. And local independent label Ficticious Records has become a breeding ground for band cross-breeding.

Character, an instrumental collaboration of local indie rockers, is celebrating the release of its second record We Also Create False Promises this week. Combining rock, jazz and experimental ambient sounds, Character has slowly been gaining attention in the Nashville press and with growing loyal audiences.

Though songs with no lyrics may seem like a ticket straight to boredom, Character's layered mastery of each of their instruments creates an inviting and almost futuristic sound.

The idea of bringing six individual musicians together for one band has worked perfectly. Each style merges fluidly to create sounds of pulsating urgency under soothing rhythms and an always present grandiose guitar presence.

William Tyler of Lambchop provides his shoegazer sound on the guitar, The Privates lead singer Dave Paulson plays guitar as well and Lylas member Luke Schneider takes care of the theremin, an electronic instrument that creates a vibrating tone, adding to Character's space-age feel. Keyboardist Ryan Norris, bassist Eric Williams and drummer Scott Martin round out the band. Character's first album, A Flashing of Knives and Green Water can be found on International Records. We Also shows the band is more comfortable with their sound.

Character has planned a national tour to promote their second album, their first collaboration with producer Roger Moutenot, who has worked in the past with Beulah, Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney and Lou Reed. Their CD release party is tonight at Exit/In starting around 9:30 p.m.

- Vanderbilt Hustler

"Character: “We Also Create False Promises”"

By Otis R. Taylor
Staff Writer
« Published: Friday, Oct 29 »

What an imaginative election-year title for a debut record. But what I like even more than Character’s naming of “We Also Create False Promises” is the band’s beautiful trampling of music genres.
From pop to electro, ambient to jazz and post-rock to space-rock, Character is one of a handful of bands that can pull off the mixing of styles without sounding like confused musicians. It probably helps that the six-piece band is all instrumental. Attempting to write lyrics would be uncharacteristically painful for even a professional songwriter.

Many of the songs work in parts and movements.

“Passionate Gun Love,” with its grooving piano and bass lines, sounds like it could have been in a “Shaft” movie before shifting into a distorted, melodic jam that will give garage guitarists something to think about. The song ends with a post-rock guitar/synthesizer/theremin waltz. All this happens in six minutes.

The final track, “Quality,” captures a lot of the album’s genre- bending into one song. A thumping bass line works with a stuttering drum beat until both are flooded with guitar and synth flourishes. The song grates on post-rock’s nerves, then flushes into a slowcore drone before launching into a club-ready electronic beat.

Character’s promising debut has a lot of character.

- Rockin With Otis -

"They Like to Score"

New album by local instrumental rockers Character is rich in cinematic sweep

The shoegazer score of Friday Night Lights may mark the point where lo-fi indie rock replaces Copland-derived fanfares as the movies' official soundtrack for the heartland. If so, Character should expect a call soon from Jerry Bruckheimer. The seething, surging instrumentals on the Nashville group's long-awaited second CD We Also Create False Promises (Fictitious Records) don't create a landscape of their own as much as they impose a mood on the one around them. Drive down Charlotte Pike listening to "While Clamming in New Jersey," a somber throb of Theremin, vibes and ambient guitar, and the strip-mall skyline takes on a morose cast; a song later, the spy-movie atmospherics of "Don't Tell Winston" imbue the same sights with edgy urgency.

That the album almost never descends into noodly space jazz—with the exception of "Lakeview Annex," the sole bland track on the disc—is a testament to the group's rock smarts. With bassist Eric Williams tending the melodies, keyboardist Ryan Norris coloring the songs with electronic chirps and whirrs, and Dave Paulson and William Tyler exchanging leads and shimmering wave-of-mutilation washes on guitar, Character's songs don't need lyrics, let alone a verse-chorus structure, to create compelling dynamics of tension and release. At the same time, the players' quiet concentration keeps the record free of the prog-rock bombast or jammy self-indulgence that creeps into contemporary instrumental rock. This is a band, not six soloists who showed up at the same session, and the collective outshines the individual—no small feat when your lineup includes a Theremin.

The record's producer, Roger Moutenot, manages to bring out the players' many flourishes without disrupting their seamless rapport. The best movie scores don't goose the viewer into feeling emotion that isn't there; they emphasize the power of the small details and build to a cumulative impact. Listening to Character, the details, the emotion and the impact are there. All you have to bring is the movie.

—Jim Ridley
- Nashville Scene

"Character - We Also Create False Promises"

(CD, Fictitious, Progressive/instrumental)
Free-flowing progressive instrumentals with a cool jazzy feel. Nashville's Character is a band that features a rotating roster of six musicians...all of whom contribute equally to the overall sound. The tunes on We Also Create False Promises glide by smoothly...creating a moody ambience that is provocative and soothing. The band's music incorporates strange guitars, spacey keyboards, and theremin...all of which seem to fade in and out of the mix at will. Because there are no vocals...the band relies completely on their instruments to get their point across. And get the point across they most certainly these eleven cuts present an impressively tight and imaginative collective unit. It is difficult not to appreciate this music, as these folks are obviously creating music for all the right reasons. Some of this music is reminiscent of The Grassy Knoll. Wonderfully heady and slightly surreal...Character is a band with a firm grasp of what they are doing. Groovy cuts include "What You Are in the Dark," "Progressive Democrat," "Don't Tell Winston," and "Quality." Cool stuff... (Rating: 5+)


We Also Create False Promises (2004) - Fictitious Records

A Flashing of Knives and Green Water (2001) - Set International Records


Feeling a bit camera shy


The band members are notoriously restless and each play in several different bands, all of which have found a level of success. William Tyler (of Lambchop and guitarist on the most recent Silver Jews album) brings his ambient shoe-gazer wash to the mix. Ryan Norris provides keyboards. Luke Schneider (also in Lylas) on theremin. Dave Paulson (beloved singer in The Privates) on guitar, Eric Williams (grandson of “Ring of Fire” co-writer Merle Kilgore) on bass and Scott Martin on drums round out the group. Together they create songs with dynamic melodies and raw energy without relying on vocals to carry it.

2001 saw their first release - A Flashing of Knives and Green Water on Set International Records. Initially, Character was considered a side project. However, their sound and fan base eventually grew to a point where Character became the focus.

Soon Character caught the attention of Fictitious Records with whom they released a split 7”. Then came the wonderfully agonizing two-year period that led to the release of their newest and best work to date - We Also Create False Promises. Produced by Fictitious Records co-owner Roger Moutenot (whose has engineered/produced Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney, Lou Reed, Josh Rouse, Beulah.) The record is a benchmark for Roger’s production style, which becomes an entirely new instrument unto itself. Character’s astounding live performances add a new facet to their music and their shows continue to draw crowds throughout the southeast. A national tour is planned for the fall to coincide with the release of - We Also Create False Promises.

miles davis
sun ra
bernard herrmann
velvet underground

Sounds Like:
tangerine dream
wendy carlos
brian eno
yo la tengo
sonic youth
godspeed you black emperor
broken social scene

Record Label:
fictitious records