Slap Magazine - Issue 142 :March 2004
Don't Make Things - The Pleased

I'm trying really hard not to mention anything about The Pleased's drummer, Genaro Vergoglini. I don't want to talk about the fact that I used to skate with him lots. It'd be cheesy to bring up our skating travels to Sweden and the Czech Republic together. Who would want to know about how we survived on product alone (31 mm wheels and Dickies pants disguised w/ the "Trust" logo) to feed ourselves and buy souvenirs? Or the soggy half-eaten cheeseburger I saw Genaro save "for later?" What about when he backside heelflipped 10 stairs amidst a sea of Swedish onlookers, first try!? Who would want to hear about such things? Least of all in a music review. Anyway, the finesse and control I witnessed on that heelflip is again evident on his band's debut album, Don'tMake Things. From steady repetition on "Wake Up Instead" to deranged dynamics on "About Me", Genaro pummels the listener as Noah Georgeson wails away like an unholy mixture of U2 Bono and Robert Smith from the Cure. While the Pleased's sound is reminiscent of the Cure and Joy Division, they leave the excessive angst at home, worrying less about creating epics, instead focusing on grooves. There's a refreshing spontaneity and mania to their music as shown by jubilant tracks like One Horse and Another Disaster. They are capable of seriousness - album opener "Already Gone" being a clear example. But their dexterity lies in the immediacy and urgency they create in each track, still maintaining a strong sense of rhythmic melody; you can easily remember these songs. So I've failed in concentrating solely on the merits of the band without referring to their drummer who I used to skate with. My nostalgia is probably a result of the bitterness I feit when Genaro kept all of our Euro pictures. The only ones I have are in my mind.

William Nguyen

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