the bitter life typecast
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the bitter life typecast

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The best kept secret in music


"The Bitter Life Typecast "Happy endings for Lowlives""

It's depressing that a mindblowing band can go completely ignored by the masses. The Bitter Life Typecast fits perfectly into this category. The band comes from Philadelphia, a mecca of notable bands deserving exposure (see Jena Berlin). Combine the emotions of Mineral and lush instrumentation of late Sunny Day Real Estate, and you have a solid idea of where Happy Endings for Lowlifes stands. A meaningful instrumental begins the album and takes care of the first impression. "A Greater Love is Still Unknown" rises with gentle acoustic strumming and a siren of notes that ring out in solitude. Just like the title track of Texas is the Reason's Do You Know Who You Are, you can't help but adopt the reflective mood of the song. "Hang the Blessed DJ" breathes more energy into the guitars, which are clear and bright thanks to effects (chorus, delay, etc). The breathy vocals are layered throughout "Our Picture, Our Fire" in a manner that I could only describe as beautifully melancholic. Unexpected moments of mood shifts, like where the music heats up in "5.18.80," all make for a total head rush. I suppose one could call "Burning Hearts Have Been Burned Out Tonight" the overall single, if such a thing even exists here. It enters confidently with shiny guitars, thick rolling bass, clicking drums, and the soaring vocals that are perfect for the style. The seventh member of the band makes her presence known through backup vocals. "Winter Blues for the Holidays" is one display of the sparsely applied female harmonies, which actually intertwine really well. The chemistry reminds me of Engine Down's duet on Demure. The organic and ethereal results on Happy Endings for Lowlifes will allow anyone to find relaxation. Any devotees of the 90's emo sound will instantly gravitate towards this.
Brian Kraus (5/24/06) - Dulusions of Adequacy

"The Bitter Life Typecast "A Greater Love is Still Unknown""

Bitter Life Typecast, The- A Greater Love is Still Unknown, CD I've never heard these guys before, and I'm pleasantly surprised. This is emo, but in a good way. They seem to mix the guitar styling of Christie Front Drive with the melodies and vocal harmonies of penfold. There were also times when i thought i swore i was listening to The Smiths.

(TK) -punk planet issue 61 may/june - Punk Planet

"The Bitter Life Typecast "Happy endings for Lowlives""

Ahhh, now this hits the spot. The best release to date from this excellent and ever improving emo/indie rock outfit. Their style is still driven by clean guitars and really smooth singing, but thankfully they've started to spice things up with more vocal harmonies, and the recording quality has taken a noticeable step up as well. Everything is really bright, with a good sense of density and natural warmth, and it's not over polished either. So they retain a little of that dry airiness that's becoming of a lot of indie rock staples, while still being able to delve into some lush effects and still keep things sounding crisp and clear. I wish some of the distorted guitars were mixed a little louder in songs like "Burning Hearts Have Been Burned Out Tonight" in order to provide more of an impactful shift in dynamics, but it's of little concern in the long run. The songwriting tends to be somber and slow paced, hitting on some jangly riffing at times, but tending to go for a sparse approach that gives things plenty of breathing room. It's definitely leaning towards the moodier and more depressing side of things, but not in a way that sounds forced or overdramatic. Just take the male/female vocal harmonies in "We Can Fall Outside Into the Busy Night" delivering the line, "Facedown in a ditch instead of in my arms," without flinching, just prior to entering a slightly noisier passage with faint distortion. Several of the tracks are effectively accented by piano as well, with a select few bringing in some cello, and oddly enough some of the instrumentals such as opener "A Greater Love is Still Unknown" and "Lowlife" are my favorite tracks herein, since the band is truly able to capture a lot of emotion with music alone. Among the longer tracks (which are both impressively interesting throughout) is the seven-minute "5.18.80", which gets a little more intense with the vocal lines and layering of different instrumentation, not to mention effectively moving between variations and moods without losing any force. "Winter Blues for the Holidays" runs barely shy of nine minutes and tosses in some harmonics and droning sustained notes that really ebb and flow gracefully in the distance. Not bad. Overall the layout looks good, but the front and back covers are more effective than the inner pages, which seem more chaotic and slapped together. I like the handwritten text (Some lyrics?) inside, but the imagery on the inner spread isn't as intriguing as the layered textures and subtler coloring used elsewhere. No big deal, though. This band really deserves more attention. Had they been putting this stuff out 10 years ago they'd definitely have been pretty revered by fans of the style, because this definitely reminds me a lot of the type of emo I was digging as I was "growing up" or whatever – which is to say that it's a lot stronger than most of what gets tagged as "emo" by today's standards. It's the kind of stuff that makes for relaxed, chilled out listening sessions – "emotional" with actual feeling, not just melody, and without falling back on a "catchy" form of songwriting or anything. They're well on the way to unleashing their masterpiece, so I hope they keep at it. It wouldn't hurt to push for a little more overall variation from piece to piece ("5.18.80" is a prime example of the band's finest attributes at work), but there's some great material here, and they've continued to improve with each new release. Nicely done.
- aversionline


the bitter life typecast "happy endings for lowlives" CD oneohfive records 105.010 released 2005
the bitter life typecast "a greater love is still unknown" EP outreach records orr004 2003
the bitter life typecast/elementary thought process split 7" white vinyl outreach records orr002
the bitter life typecast "s/t" CD outreach records orr001


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Bitter Life Typecast was formed when three friends, Christopher Dwyer, Chris Maag, and Steven Salter began writing music together in December of 2001. The band recorded their self-titled debut full-length during the spring of 2002, which was released later that year on Outreach Records. During the summer of 2002, the band continued to develop and further redefined their sound and by August of that same year, the bitter life typecast recorded the song Sympathy Card for a split 7” release on Outreach Records. October brought about The Bitter Life Typecast’s first trip to Trax East Recording Studio in South River NJ, as they began recording a four song EP entitled A Greater Love is still Unknown. The EP was released in the spring of 2003 on Outreach Records. This marked the band’s third release in less then a year. The Bitter Life Typecast and Outreach Records amicably parted ways after their third release. The band began working on their fourth release and The Bitter Life Typecast returned to Trax East. Taking a great deal of time and preperation for the recording process this time around they began to experiment with different textures. This brought about the introduction of new instrumentation including synths, piano and cello as well as exploring new vocal harmonies. The Bitter Life Typecast released their second full-length album, Happy Endings for Lowlives on Albany’s Oneohfive Records in April of 2005. After the release the band started touring extensively to promote their record. A copy of their record managed to find its way into the hand of Lewis Clark, Music Supervisor from Bunim/Murray Productions. Lewis was impressed by what he heard and decided to license the record for use on MTV’s The Real World “Austin” which aired on episode 16, September 27, 2005.