Where the Messengers Meet

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band - Where the Messengers Meet
Critic Score
Based on 13 reviews
2010 Ratings: #675 / 855
User Score
Based on 1 rating
August 3, 2010 / Release Date
LP / Format
Dead Oceans / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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Tiny Mix Tapes

We all know the saying about what happens when you assume. And we also know that a band’s name usually has little to do with its sound or its genre (see: Conifer). But Ben Verdoes and his Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band seemed to uninitiated ears to promise something either ramshackle or violent or both, a troupe of minstrels preaching peace and protest or waging nothing less than sonic war.


It’s got a lot of good musical ideas, but very few of those ideas seem to come to fruition. There’s potential here for Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, but until Benjamin Verdoes puts in some work on both his singing and songwriting, they probably won’t reach it.


I suppose by a group's second album, you shouldn't be dwelling so much on its name, but going by "Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band" somehow makes less sense than it did the first time around. In the context of the Seattle quintet's self-titled debut from 2009, you could at least consider it a riff on the overblown monikers preferred by enthusiastic, collective-ish types such as themselves. But on Where the Messengers Meet, they forgo any of the upheaval or explosiveness implied by their namesakes, instead playing squarely within the strictures of indie rock at its most no-frills; five years ago, this would've been called blog-rock.

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Track List

  1. At Night
  2. Leaving Trails
  3. The Roof
  4. Hurrah
  5. Not To Know
  6. You Were/I Was
  7. Gone Again
  8. Bitter Cold
  9. In A Hole
  10. Cadence
  11. Messengers
  12. George Clark

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