"A feast of intelligent lyrics, memorable melodies, angular guitar hooks, and compelling rhythms await the listener..." - John Wenzel, Sponic


Being unique in a field of pretenders is certainly
an accomplishment, and testimony to the fact
that Billy Peake (voc/guitar), Dan Gerken
(voc/guitar/cello/keys), Sean Sefcik (bass/keys),
and Dan Bell (drums) have forged their own
distinct sound. But it’s a curse because you,
dear writers, can’t conscionably attest that “This
Columbus, Ohio four-piece sounds like [insert
current indie darling here]� and be done with it.
You’re just going to have to give Western
Reserve repeated listens. (Don’t worry: you’ll
want to anyway.)

Western Reserve is Miranda Sound’s third full-length since 2001. The band’s albums have continuously
met with favorable reviews, and their dedication to using every non-working, non-school-attending
moment to hop in a van and play shows throughout the Midwest has earned them a respectable following in cities from Chicago to Boston.

However, minor success hasn’t come without some setbacks and freak accidents. They were hampered
by the departure of their original drummer during the height of Engaged in Labor. They were also slowed
down when their touring van was smashed by a tree during an electrical storm. The biggest setback, a
car-on-bike accident involving multi-instrumentalist Dan Gerken during the summer of 2003, wound up
providing the band with new breath and new inspiration. The accident is documented in the song, “Close Calls.� With the rare distinction of having co-lead vocalists, Miranda Sound is often able to tell a story from two different points of view; “Close Calls� is one of those songs. Peake recalls, through his lyrics, the accident which nearly cost his bandmate his life: “Dan destroyed an Oldsmobile / with his forehead / His bike’s crushed, his head’s a crimson mess / When he wakes up he will guess / how he got there.� Gerken recollects in first-person: “You should have seen me when they strapped me in / Blood in my hair, with beet-red irises.�

To document these poignant moments on Western Reserve, Miranda Sound enlisted the talents of
J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Government Issue) who has previously lent production talent to the likes of The Promise Ring, Clutch, The Dismemberment Plan, and Shiner. The band met Robbins at Workbook Studio in Columbus during summer 2005 to start recording, with engineering help from Neal Schmitt and Jon Chinn (The Sun, New Bomb Turks). Robbins’ influence both as a producer and musician can he heard on such standout tracks as Western Reserve’s opener “Jackson Milton,� “The Lull of Youngstown� and “Control� which features Gerken on cello. As much as Robbins played an integral part in the final output, the band retains its own clear sound throughout the dozen tracks. In all, Western Reserve is as honest and real as it gets. It’s a true, thoughtful, yet accessible record with dark and memorable riffs, appealing melodies, and lyrics that accurately but obliquely reflect what it’s like to realize that you’re an adult.



Set List

"Onstage, they take on a more straightforward spit-spraying, sweat-dripping persona, with Peake and Gerken�s back-and-forth singing propelling the band through a set that leaves everything they�ve got in puddles on the stage."

J. Caleb Mozzocco, Columbus Alive
February 28, 2002