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Local band riding 'Road' to success

Sold Separately'A Road Less Traveled'Sound Strations Records

Just like a photograph, record albums can be a snapshot of botha musician and person in a particular moment in time. For theCaledonia natives Sold Separately, "A Road Less Traveled" is asnapshot that took almost a year to develop.

"People always ask us how it took so long, but it isn't alwaysas easy as it sounds," drummer Jimmy Fleischmann said. "A lot ofwork can be put into the production of an album."

And if the past is any indication of the future, the extra workSold Separately put into its new album will definitely pay off. Thework group members put into their intense live shows has alreadybrought them a steady following in the local music scene. Alongwith clever and diverse songwriting, the obscure determining factorthat separates Fleischmann and his bandmates -- guitarist MikeBubbers, bassist Seth Gengler and vocalist Andrew Conway -- frommost of the area's five-and-dime metal bands is their positive,down-to-earth nature. "We've been described as a heavy metal bandwith a punk rock attitude," Fleischmann said.

All the positive passion this group possesses has beensuccessfully packed into "A Road Less Traveled," and it makes forsome aggressive and very believable metal tracks. As the mostchaotic song on the album, the opener "P.A." quickly gets thelistener's adrenaline pumping. It dramatically jumps back and forthfrom a calm early-Limp Bizkit rap groove to a hard-core explosionled by Conway's blood-curdling scream like a deliriousschizophrenic.

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"Spotlight," "Twenty-Three" and "Gengler's Hat" are three morehard-hitting highlights.

This is a solid release, but it is the little things that makeit stand out. Like the brooding bass line Gengler weaves in and outof "Twenty-Three." Or the way Bubbers builds up his epic guitarriff on "Gengler's Hat." Or when Conway vents, "You get one shot tomake it right!" on "Spotlight."

Throughout all the System of a Down-like time changes,song-defining, Rage-reminiscent interludes, and carefree, Incubusspontaneity, you begin to realize how equally talented eachindividual member is and how well they each stand alone as well astogether. No one is hiding behind or relying on another member. Ithink this allows Sold Separately to make songs better thanaverage. They have good chemistry and are well-rounded enough to doso.

That point is driven home by the two chill-out songs on the CD,"Pide Piper" and "Control." The bandmates show they aren't afraidto switch things up and try new things with a pleasant change oftempo that gives the overall album more texture. At six minutes inlength, "Pide Piper" is a mounting, winding slope of emotions thatunravels compellingly in a Deftones-type fashion. The element thatsticks out the most on both of these tracks is Conway proving he'snot just a screamer, but also an admirable singer with his airy,heartfelt crooning.

Members of Sold Separately have made a name for themselves inthe area by working hard, doing things their way and being friendlyalong the way. "A Road Less Traveled" is just the beginning of theroad and they are off to a great start. Expect nothing but pleasantthings to come their way. Support your local scene and get your owncopy at shows, Board to Death Sports or www.soldsep.com.

Adam Wiltgen is a senior at Fillmore Central High School. Torespond to reviews in Sound &; Vision, call 252-1111, categoryTEEN (8336); write Teen Beat, Post-Bulletin, P.O. Box 6118,Rochester, MN 55903-6118 or send e-mail toteenbeat@postbulletin.com.

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